Victor Oladipo open to singing the national anthem before Pacers home game

Victor Oladipo wouldn’t commit to singing the United States’ national anthem before a Pacers game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but he isn’t ruling it out.

“Maybe one day, we’ll see,” he said with a big grin.

Oladipo is beloved in Indiana for what he did down in Bloomington while at IU, and for what he has already done in his short time with the Pacers. He’s full of life, full of energy, and he’s committed to giving the Pacers all he has.

Before the season, his fifth in the NBA, Oladipo released an EP — short for extended play — with seven songs. He received all kinds of feedback … from former teammates to fellow players and others in the music community.

Oladipo on his writing inspiration: “What people might relate to, what I’m familiar with and what they’re used to. I think that’s the biggest thing, experiences and how people can relate.”

The Pacers’ game operations staff has lightly discussed the idea of Oladipo singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before tip-off one game — something he has never done — and they would obviously be thrilled for him to take the microphone before team introductions.

“Facts. I need like one-hundred grand,” said Oladipo, who playfully mentioned his desire to get paid in previous interviews. “Just playing. We’ll see. Maybe one day if the right opportunity presents itself.”

Realistically, one could understand why he has not up until this point. Players, like many of us, are routine oriented and don’t want to break habit. Left sock on first, then right. Left shoe, right shoe. Make 20 shots from five spots, then move beyond the arc. Make 10 free throws.

Whatever it is, you don’t want to break habit.

But Oladipo — who is averaging a career-high 22.9 points (up from 15.9 last season), a career-high 5.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game — says that’s not a factor here.

“Nah. Ain’t nothing going to get me off my game.”

Hopefully soon the Pacers’ public address announcer Jerry Baker will introduce the Maryland native twice before a home game — once for the national anthem, and then again in the starting lineup. Just another way for him to share his blessing.

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