Two days after Kansas State went on the road and defeated Missouri to all but lock up a spot in the NCAA Tournament, Victor Ojeleye leaned against a wall at Bramlage Coliseum and said he was feeling tired.
Not because he pushed himself physically against the Tigers or in practice the next day, mind you. Though he worked as hard as he could on the court those days, he long ago grew accustomed to that. On this occassion, he was having trouble shaking the lingering effects of maintaining a high GPA while traveling and playing Division I basketball all at the same time.
“Don’t tell coach,” he said, “but I’ve been up until 2 a.m. studying the last couple nights.”
That kind of dedication is admirable considering he doesn’t have anything left to prove from an academic standpoint. He was the valedictorian of his high school, he has made an A in all but two of his college classes, he has been named to the Big 12′s All-academic team three times, he is on pace to graduate in July and he even has an accounting/financial job lined up with Koch Industries.
In short, he has been the model student-athlete during his time at Kansas State.
Knowing all of this, I asked Ojeleye what was still driving him in the class room. He could afford to make another B. Why not kick back, relax and enjoy his senior year a little bit?
“I don’t want any doses of senioritis — at all,” Ojeleye said. “You can’t just change who you are because things are looking good. You’ve got to continue to do what you do, continue to do what got you where you are. Working hard now, that’s something you’re going to enjoy later.”