The Associated Press
Published: June 28, 2013   |
Updated: June 28, 2013 at 07:15 AM
ORLANDO - Victor Oladipo had a message for Orlando Magic fans, taped not long after he was selected with the No. 2 pick in Thursday night's NBA draft.
"I'm excited to get down there and get started, and help you guys win, because that's what it's all about," Oladipo said, in a video posted on the team's website. "Go Magic."
With that, his pro career got off on the right foot.
The Magic went small with the second overall selection, taking the Indiana guard who measured just over 6-foot-3 at the draft combine. Oladipo was a first-team Associated Press All-American after averaging 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior, leading the Hoosiers to their first outright Big Ten regular-season championship in 20 years.
"Surreal feeling, man," Oladipo said. "I've been watching this draft pretty much all my life, and to actually be a part of it and to actually be the No. 2 pick in this draft is truly a blessing from God. Just going to continue to keep working hard. I'm just getting started."
He set an Indiana record for single-season steals with 78, earning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award in a season where he shot a conference-best 60 percent.
"My defense is everything," Oladipo said. "It's the reason why I got here, and it's the reason I'm at the point that I am now, and why it's going to help me separate myself in the future. I'm going to keep growing in that area as well. I feel like I can grow in different aspects of my defense, too, so I'm going to definitely bring that to the Orlando Magic."
"We just really like what he's about. We like his work ethic and his ability to impact both ends of the floor," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan told ESPN after the selection. "We feel like he plays efficient basketball, which is always good. ...
"There are a lot of different things that he can improve on, and I'm sure when he gets here we'll put a plan together and help him do that."
Oladipo is primarily a shooting guard, though the Magic could use him at both backcourt spots.
"I see myself as a little bit of both, a combination guard," he said. "But whatever they want me to be, wherever I can have an impact, that's where I'll be."
The Magic selected Oklahoma forward Romero Osby with its second-round pick, the 51st overall.