Victor Oladipo named MVP in Team Africa’s loss to Team World

Over in Johannesburg, South Africa, Victor Oladipo made his first public appearance representing his new team, the Indiana Pacers.

Although he was wearing a black Team Africa jersey (Jordan Brand, not Adidas) rather than the Blue & Gold, Oladipo did it all and was named MVP of the exhibition game despite a a 108-97 loss to Team World.

The 25-year-old scored the game’s first hoop, and led all 20 NBA players with 28 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Teammate Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets had 22 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds.

Oladipo before his MVP performance. [@ChrisDenari]

Oladipo, acquired last month by the Pacers along with Domantas Sabonis for Paul George, shot 4-for-14 beyond the arc and 7-for-11 inside. He represented Team Africa because his mother (Joan) is from Nigeria. The game, in conjunction with the league’s Basketball Without Borders outreached, was played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA).

“Just a blessing to be able to come here, experience this country,” Oladipo said during an on-court postgame interview at Ticketpro Dome, in front of a sellout crowd of 7,348.

“The game is huge, but I think the true meaning of coming here is the people, and the kids, and the families we inspire. We came here, we built houses, we visited orphanages, and we did a great job just overall of being bigger than ourselves, meaning just giving back to others.

“I had an awesome time. It was a very humbling experience.”

[Oladipo always grateful for fan support in Indy]

New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and Detroit’s Andre Drummond each scored 14 points to lead Team World, which had seven of its 10 players finish in double figures. Pike High School 2004 graduate Courtney Lee (New York) scored 13.

Team Africa was coached by Alvin Gentry of the New Orleans Pelicans while Miami’s Erik Spoelstra coached Team World.

No Pacers coaches or staff members were on hand. However, while ESPN owned the broadcast rights in the United States, Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner of FOX Sports Indiana were on the call for the World Feed to more than 200 countries around the world.

Oladipo Highlights (via @NBA):

[Photo: ESPN broadcast]

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