We read so often about student-athletes who don’t take the first part of the hyphenate seriously. I’m not as judgmental about that sort of thing as others might be, but I will say it’s refreshing to hear about a kid who finds the will to play hard and study hard. Then there are the 20-somethings that I must, frankly, look up to, because they cram even more good work into each day.
One such person is Victor Ojeleye. The 6’6″ forward was never a huge on-court contributor at Kansas State, but he played all four years and captained the team twice. His leadership by example extended to the classroom and beyond, as well. As a result, Ojeleye was honored with the 2012 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar award, which recognizes students who fit guidelines set forth in a KansasCity.com article:
The Sports Scholar Award was established in 1992 by Black Issues in Higher Education, now Diverse, to honor undergraduate students of color who exemplify the standards set by tennis great Arthur Ashe Jr. To be nominated, student-athletes must compete in an intercollegiate sport, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and be active on their campuses or their communities.
Ojeleye fits the bill well. He was a locker-room leader for K-State’s most victorious senior class ever, and graduated from the university with a dual degree in accounting and finance.
As one might expect from one so honored, Ojeleye was humble and generous when accepting the prestigious award, saying: “This award is not something I would have ever dreamed of receiving, but because of God’s grace and the support of family, friends and K-State, I have been honored to receive it. I am truly in the company of great past recipients and I am fortunate to be able to represent my family with such a distinction. I am very thankful for this and appreciate it greatly. It is an honor and a privilege.”
Kudos to a true scholar-athlete.