Photo credit - MIami Heat

Former IU star Victor Oladipo made NBA return after 11-month absence

For the second time in an excruciating more than three-year journey, Victor Oladipo returned to an NBA court on Monday.

The former IU star made his season debut for the Miami Heat almost 11 months after he last made an appearance in the league.

Oladipo finished with 11 points and four assists against the Rockets.  His first noteworthy play was of all things, the sacrifice of his body to take a charge.

After he made a layup in the third quarter, the home Miami crowd started a chant he once heard in Bloomington — “O-LA-DI-PO.”

“It was a great feeling. Unbelievable. Words can’t really describe it,” Oladipo said of hearing the fans call his name.

Oladipo was 4-of-7 from the field overall including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. On a playing time restriction, he saw 15 minutes of action.

It was Oladipo’s first game since April 8, 2021 as he spent the last 11 months recovering from a second surgery on his right quadriceps tendon.  He originally injured the tendon playing for the Pacers in January, 2019.

The first injury ended his 2018-19 season, and he made a similar return with much fanfare in 2020.

But Oladipo has played in just 52 regular-season games since the first injury. Last year he played in 33 with Indiana, Houston and Miami after being traded multiple times.

“My mentality will always be the same,” Oladipo said after the game against Houston.  “I’ve been resilient since I could breathe. I’m not gonna stop now.”

Below are social media posts from Oladipo and the Heat documenting his rehab and return.

The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”