Oladipo, we’re all for you

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Did you hear the loud earth-shattering boom earlier today? That was the sound of the hearts of Hoosier Nation fans breaking.

Although it’s not a complete shock Victor Oladipo is forgoing his senior year and entering the NBA draft, it didn’t make the news any less bitter-tasting.

The junior, first-team All-American is graduating in May and according to the AP he is projected as a top-six choice.

Oladipo was the second-leading scorer and averaged 6.3 rebounds and 13.6 points a game. He also commanded respect by those he played with and against. But more than that, at the risk of sounding like a complete girl, he looks really, really cool doing it.

I mean come on, not only can he drive the lane, throw a shot up under handed and sink it, he can dunk the ball with what looks like an effortless jump. The man has “hops.”

I’ve written before about the program rebuilding after sanctions from Kelvin Sampson nearly demolished the tradition known as Indiana basketball. Oladipo was one of the guys who helped fans remember what it’s all about. The 6’5″ Maryland native was able to come in to a new state, school and basketball program and not only succeed, but epitomize what Indiana University basketball is. They worked hard and demanded the nation note their growth. As a result they made IU basketball spectators have fun.

Although I’m not happy to see him leave, I’m grateful to have attended the school consisting of this program. Cody Zeller, a sophomore basketball player, will announce his plans tomorrow. I won’t be surprised if he decides to enter the NBA draft as well but the holes left behind will be big to fill (and not just because they are big guys). If both Oladipo and Zeller are NBA bound that will leave four former starting positions ( Christian Watford, Zeller, Oladipo and Jordan Hulls) empty.

Although it’s uncertain what Zeller will decide, I will put my sadness aside and wish the best for Oladipo. I think Victor said it best in the press conference announcing his decision.

“It’s an honor to be an Indiana Hoosier. It means so much to me and I will always be an Indiana Hoosier. This is my home. I love this place. I love the fans. I love the people.”

In the same press conference, he said will come back to visit and he hopes he will be welcomed back with open arms.

We will always welcome you back, Victor.

Love, a member of Hoosier Nation

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Obama chooses Indiana to win NCAA tournament

Obama chooses Indiana to win NCAA tournament

In what has become a spring ritual, President Obama filled out a men’s basketball bracket. He choose Indiana to win the NCAA tournament. He also had Louisville, Florida and Ohio State in the final four.
The president has given his predictions to ESPN before but hasn’t correctly guessed the winner since 2009. Here’s to hoping he is right.

IU basketball seniors: foundation of a comeback

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Indiana University basketball makes me emotional. Every time I watch Christian Watford’s game winning shot against no. one Kentucky in Dec. 2011, and the crowd’s reaction, I get chills.

Every time they lose, I lose with them and ever time I see them do well I can’t help but feel the pride for the Indiana University men’s basketball team.

Those who haven’t witnessed Indiana basketball will not understand why I feel this way. However, members of Hoosier Nation will know exactly what I’m saying.

My father is an Indiana University basketball fan and his father was as well. Through them I learned the tradition of Indiana basketball.

Tonight they have a chance to win the Big Ten regular season title.

I can’t think of anyone more deserving than the three seniors, Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford.

The three seniors are getting ready to play their last game in Assembly Hall and will try to win this outright Big Ten regular season title, something IU hasn’t accomplished in 20 years.

The senior class, who has gone through some of the roughest moments in IU basketball history will play Ohio State.

They went 22-41 their first two years as Tom Crean tried to rebuild the program tarnished by previous coach Kevin Sampson.

I was trying to figure out why the program was so emotional and realized it’s because they never gave up, showed loyalty and put in the work they are finally seeing pay off.

Each player could have said goodbye to the team when things got ugly. Instead they decided to be the faces of the program in a rough rebuilding period. They practiced, played and practiced more, even in the two-year period  they lost 41 games. They are a big part of the reason younger players in recent years decided to commit to IU.

After all they have done, Elston, Watford and Hulls deserve to be returned the love, respect and support they have put in the game every day for the past four years. They have been the foundation of the Indiana University basketball comeback.

I will be watching the game from my home tonight and hope the crowd in Assembly Hall will cheer loud through the game and stay for the senior activities after. As the Indiana Daily Student said in their paper today, Derek, Jordy, C-Wat, you are Indiana.

Week favorites

Here are some of my favorite things I’m reading, watching, looking forward to etc. at the moment (meaning this week, not this exact second).

Book I’m reading: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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What just played on my Itunes playlist: I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight by The Outfield

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Favorite inspirational sayings this week (I have two)

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Last magazine I purchased: March edition of Vogue; Beyoncé is on the cover

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Workout of the week: Complete body workout, a five-disk DVD collection by Jillian Michaels

Favorite Dr. Seuss quote (in honor of the March 2 birthday): “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

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Favorite “not impressed” face: President Obama and gymnast McKayla Maroney

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Last movie I saw in theater: Snitch

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Essie nail color: Butler, please

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Indiana University basketball will face Ohio State on senior night. Derek Elston, Christian Watford and Jordy Hulls are pictured below.

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And the moment that touched my heart this week: A high school basketball player threw the ball inbound to the opposing team’s manager, a boy with a developmental disability, so he could score a basket. It was a moment of true sportsmanship. The manager made the basket and the crowd rushed the court. It gave me chills.

Sugar, we’re goin’ down

I feel like I’m a freshman in high school again. Want to know why?

I logged into my Itunes account (I like checking the new music that comes out on Tuesdays) and I found a new Fall Out Boy single at my finger tips. Obviously I immediately purchased it and started a one-person dance party.

I think the 16-year-old girl in me has died and gone to heaven. First Beyonce rocked the Superbowl (I don’t care what people have to say, she did her thing on stage in platform heels and she just had a baby) and invited Destiny’s Child on stage with her.  Then I found out Fall Out Boy is back. On top of all the music gods smiling down, my Indiana Hoosiers are no. one after beating Michigan in a basketball game Saturday night.

In honor of the news, I’m listening to ‘From Under the Cork Tree’ while I write this. Others might not be as happy as I am about the news but I’m enjoying my ‘7 minutes in heaven’ (see what I did there)?

Good old-fashioned rivalry

I love sports. I love everything about them – competitiveness, teamwork, group effort, victory, heartbreak, all of it.

If you’re from Indiana you know the in-state college athletic rivalries – Indiana University, Purdue and Notre Dame. I make no secret of the fact I am an IU alum and avid IU basketball fan.

I don’t have a personal vendetta against Purdue (my brother, friends went there etc.) but I do love a good athletic rivalry. Tonight my Hoosiers beat Purdue at their home, Mackey Arena, by 37 points and I can’t help but be happy about that.

The Hoosiers have had a good season thus far but have a tough match-up Saturday. Although Hoosier Nation fans everywhere are enjoying the victory, it’s now time to be on to the next one – no. 1 ranked, Michigan.

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Watford wins 2012 ESPY for Best Play of the Year

I just had to relive the moment. Such a cool experience to witness IU campus when Christian Watford made the shot coined “Watshot” and the team beat no. one seed Kentucky. Congrats to Watford for the 2012 ESPY for Best Play of the Year.

Team celebrating with the crowd.

After the win, Hoosier Nation rushed every inch of the court. Then ran to Kirkwood.

One more for good measure: Kirkwood after the game.

Well worth the ESPY win.

“Today, as a class, we t…

“Today, as a class, we thank what got us here,” Sedam said. “Thank you, IU. Thanks for our story.”

I had the honor of going through the Indiana University graduation two Saturdays ago. Although it felt like it was a million degrees while wearing the heavy, black gown outside and although we had to stand for two hours before the precession began, it was completely worth it.  

My parents and brother drove two and a half hours south to watch me graduate.  My father, still healing from his car accident, my mother tired from dealing with eighth graders all week, and my brother who had just gotten pink eye a few days before, drove down to help me celebrate. 

Everyone kept asking me “how does it feel to finally be done with school?”  My answer was always a modest, “it seems weird.”  To be honest, what I was thinking was it doesn’t feel real yet. I don’t feel like I’m graduating. There’s no way I just finished college.  I felt this way because I knew I still had a summer left in Bloomington.  I have one summer class until June and I have a job here until August.  

As I sat in Assembly Hall, among other Journalism majors, I looked around at the 6,400 people graduating only distinguishable by the different colored tassels that indicated various majors available at IU.  Michael McRobbie, IU president, began speaking with an inspirational and comical opening.  He was followed by Booker T. Jones who gave the commencement speech.  

It still didn’t feel real. I watched from my seat on the side of Assembly Hall (home of IU basketball) and enjoyed the speech but it hadn’t hit me yet.  Booker T. Jones concluded his speech by saying “this commencement ceremony is, indeed, an auspicious occasion. You finished the greatest school in the world, Indiana University.”  I joined the crowd and clapped loudly as he said this.   

A little later, the undergraduate commencement began.  Lauren Sedam, a fellow journalism major, stood behind the microphone and began to speak.  Her words flowed out easily, although I knew that it was a well practiced speech. Sedam had interviewed other seniors about their experience at Indiana University and what it meant to them.  As I listened to her talk about her experience as well as those she interviewed, it hit me. I had also had that unique experience. The experience of meeting strangers and becoming best friends; the experience of coming to a school and making it a home.  As Sedam ended her speech she said what all of us had on our minds.  

“Today, as a class, we thank what got us here,” Sedam said. “Thank you, IU. Thanks for our story.”  

In that moment graduation became very real. I do not think there was one student in Assembly Hall that didn’t have goose bumps on their arms or tears in their eyes.  That’s exactly what iU did. It made my story. It made my college career.  I won’t remember some of the classes I took, but I will remember the people that made my college experience what it was.

After graduation I had a dinner with my family before they headed home.  I ended the night with two of my roommates and what felt like all IU seniors at Kilroys Sports Bar.  At 3:00, seniors crowded the downstairs floor (bars usually close at 3:00).  The bar stayed open an extra hour as the DJ played songs for the seniors remaining.  People everywhere danced, sang, and cried together. Sedam was right when she said this was our story.  This moment is a reflection of that story.  A moment when we all came together and celebrated a milestone in our lives.  As the DJ turned on “This is Indiana” (a well-known song across campus)  hundreds of people huddled together.  My roommates and I danced and cried and knew that we would remember this moment.  

I am blessed to have the people in my life who have helped shape my college career.  My parents, brother, roommates, friends, and family have been there for me through it all and I am so grateful. They have made my college experience become the best that it could have been, and because of that, this is my story.  

Thanks to all who have helped shape my IU story.