Magic's Victor Oladipo making an impact on and off the court
MIAMI (AP) -- Orlando guard Victor Oladipo just had his highest-scoring game of the season, albeit in an overtime loss to Toronto on Thursday during the NBA's annual game in London.
So on the court, seeing his impact is easy.
Off the court, that's getting to be the case as well.
Oladipo has been presented with December's NBA Cares Community Assist Award, recognizing some of the charitable efforts he's been involved with -- a list that includes giving $35,000 to a center that works with children dealing with hearing loss, along with donating a car and money to a single mother and her daughter to help them transition out of living in an Orlando women's shelter.
"I do it because I want to, not because I want to get recognition for it," said Oladipo, whose efforts were recognized and revealed by the NBA last week. "It's kind of cool that people are watching and taking note that you're trying to give back. I do it out of the kindness of my heart, because I feel like it's my duty, my responsibility to."
Oladipo is in his third season with the Magic, who lost 106-103 in overtime to the Raptors on Thursday. Oladipo scored a season-high 27 points for the Magic, who are squarely in the mix for what would be their first postseason berth since 2012 in the muddled Eastern Conference. He's averaging 20.4 points since returning to the starting lineup five games ago, and 13.5 points for the season overall.
"I think we're doing a great job," Oladipo said. "There's some ups and some downs, but overall I think we're right where we need to be. And if we keep pushing we'll be just fine."
Part of his reason for giving back has to do with his sister's difficulties that began at a young age.
Kendra Oladipo became deaf in the second grade. Her brother doesn't remember exactly how it happened, other than her hearing degenerated steadily until it was gone. But his penchant for trying to help facilities like the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington -- his sister teaches there -- and the University of Central Florida's Listening Center in Orlando needs no explanation.
"If you just try to change the world from your little area or domain, that's a big impact," he said. "If the world was smaller, it wouldn't be as hard. You can't change everything in the world. But I can at least try. It's about how good a heart you have, honestly. A lot of people need help. You can't do it all, but there's good things you can do."