By Jesse Piper
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Victor Ojeleye was not a big-name recruit coming out of prep school. Nobody blinked an eye when the Ottawa, Kan., native chose to walk-on at Kansas State under head coach Frank Martin.
So while his arrival to Manhattan may not have been met with a great deal of hype, Ojeleye has made a profound impact on his Wildcat teammates during his three and a half years on campus.
Victor Olayemi Ayunda Ojeleye was born in Ilorin, Nigeria but came to the United States when he was just four years old. His father is a family doctor in Ottawa, Kan., and it was there that Victor's talents on the hardwood and in the classroom really began to shine through.
Ojeleye maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout high school and was named Valedictorian of his graduating class. On top of that, he rewrote the Cyclone record books, setting OHS marks for career scoring (1070) and career rebounds (596). He was named Area Player of the Year by the Lawrence World-Journal, first-team 5A All-State by KansasSports.com and earned first team All-Frontier League honors following his senior year.
A walk-on paying his own way at Kansas State, Ojeleye has made an impact not only for his team, but also for the community. Since arriving at K-State, he has been involved in many extra-curricular activities outside of basketball. Some of those organizations include Special Olympics, Adopt-A-Family, the After Dark Program and the Flint Hills Breadbasket, which is a non-profit organization that helps put food on the tables of needy families in the Riley County area.
"I'm always trying to find new ways to give back," said Ojeleye. "These organizations are very involved in the community. When I tell other student-athletes from other schools what we do, you can tell that their schools are well behind us in campus and community involvement."
Even when balancing school and basketball, Ojeleye always finds a way to help others in need. Family and community are two words that have always resonated strongly with Ojeleye.
"You can do nothing in life by yourself. Everything you do with a purpose involves interacting with someone else. Almost without question, it takes at least two individuals to get you somewhere," Ojeleye said.
In the locker room, he is a source of inspiration for his teammates and coaches. Ojeleye, who is a devout Christian, has been known to leave notes with Bible verses and inspirational quotes in the lockers of his teammates on game days. Fellow teammates see Ojeleye as a person who they can approach if they need help with anything.
Despite having a limited role in his first three seasons as a Wildcat, the one consistent part of Ojeleye's game is the leadership that he brings to the team.
Now a senior, he has seen his role in the Wildcat rotation increase greatly. He has been one of the more consistent players to come off the bench for K-State.
In Big 12 play, Ojeleye has played significant minutes for the Wildcats while setting career marks in several statistical categories which included a career-high 10 rebounds against Iowa State on January 31.
So while Ojeleye's time at K-State will end after this season, his success off the court will carry on in the form of a job at Koch Industries in Wichita, Kan. At that company, Ojeleye has a position waiting for him upon completing his degree in the area of accounting and finance.
"I hope to be involved with international business," said Ojeleye. "I want to travel the world and make things happen at the highest scale."