Oladipo showered with praise throughout 500 Festival Parade

Victor Oladipo, Pacers, Indianapolis, 500 Festival Parade

Victor Oladipo has been a Pacer for 11 months, and the love from the city is mutual.

Pacers fans began lining the steps to the Central Library more than 45 minutes before Victor Oladipo’s arrival. There were Oladipo chants many times when the door to the library was opened, only for another celebrity to walk the red carpet.

They were dressed in jerseys, t-shirts, and Pacers gear. They wanted to say “thank you” to Oladipo for his performance this season in helping the franchise remain in the playoffs. They lost in seven games in Cleveland, but they put up a great fight.

At 11:49 am, a police escort led three Miller Transportation tour busses, plus several more SUVs, to St. Clair St in downtown Indianapolis. Indy 500 drivers got off the busses with their families and walked the red carpet, and into the library one-by-one.

Then, at 11:56 am, Joe Smith, the Pacers’ Director of Executive Protection, opened the passenger side rear door and out came Oladipo. He smiled, waved to the dozens of fans, and then was handed a jersey from Player Development Coordinator Michael Hornback.

Appropriately, Oladipo would wear his City Edition Pacers jersey as he rode through downtown Indianapolis on the back of a Chevrolet Corvette. And like nearly every other major accomplishment in his life, his twin Victoria was right there with him.

Victor Oladipo, Pacers, Boomer, Indianapolis, 500 Festival Parade

Oladipo and Boomer pose for a photo before riding in the 500 Festival Parade.

By 12:11 pm, his parade driver got the command to pull onto Pennsylvania Street. In the back of the car with Oladipo for most of the parade was a personality from ESPN. They are tagging along with Victor all weekend long for a feature that will air on SportsCenter next week.

More than the parade, Oladipo is a featured guest of the speedway as he was selected to drive the 755-hp Chevy Pace Car to lead the field to the start/finish line on Sunday. He missed his originally scheduled charter flight on Friday, so he didn’t get to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway until late Friday for his first bit of training.

That training continued on Saturday at the track. But first, he took a ride in a two-seater, which tops out around 180 mph.

Former IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher is helping Oladipo, and Chevy flew in expert driver trainer Ron Fellows from Las Vegas to prepare Oladipo to drive the powerful ZR1 ride.

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