While his future with the Indiana Pacers is still to be determined, NBA star Victor Oladipo is finding much success in the investing world as he expands his business portfolio.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Oladipo shared that he and his business manager Jay Henderson have joined an ownership group with former Florida basketball player, Matt Walsh, to purchase the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League.
The result of this deal not only furthers Oladipo’s reputation as a businessman, but would also make him one of the world’s youngest basketball team owners as well as the owner of New Zealand’s home arena.
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“I was always interested in being part of team ownership, having input with a team and helping a team be successful on the business side of things,” he told AP. “To work with a team from this perspective, I’m sure I’ll have newfound respect for the guys who have been in that position.”
Oladipo pivoted to focus on his business dealings in the wake of his knee injury and his concerns over playing in the NBA bubble over the summer. Now, he looks forward to rehabbing his knee for the new season and working with his new team.
While Oladipo will be hands-on in terms of how management will make decisions for the New Zealand Breakers, his manager Henderson anticipates filling in the role of running the team’s day-to-day operations.
“We do a lot of startups together, we own a few companies together and now we’re going to be owners of the New Zealand Breakers,” Henderson shared with AP. “I can’t even say I dreamed about it, I always thought what it would be like to own a franchise, but you never fully expect it to happen.”
Oladipo revealed to AP that he first became interested in the National Basketball League after watching American star LaMelo Ball play for the Illawarra Hawks last season.
“I definitely think this league is growing, I know it’s growing,” Oladipo said. “It’s really competitive. I actually saw a few games when LaMelo was playing and I think it’s becoming a hot commodity.”
New Zealand has reportedly been one of the league’s most successful and consistent franchise teams, according to AP, and will begin this season seeking their first playoff appearance in four years.
Larry Kestelman — owner and executive chairman of the NBL — announced last week that the next season is expected to kick off in early 2021, with hopes of being able to play in large crowds following the pandemic.