NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo is set to become one of the youngest basketball franchise owners in the world at 28 years old as he and business manager Jay Henderson have joined forces with Matt Walsh to purchase the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League.
“I was always [been] interested in being part of team ownership, having input with a team and helping a team be successful on the business side of things,” Oladipo said. “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 plays for the Indiana Pacers. According to the Associated Press, he has never been to New Zealand but he took notice of their league after watching a game starring LaMelo Ball, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball.
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Nigerian-born Oladipo also believes in the prospects of their new acquisition and plans on visiting the Auckland based club at least once a year.
“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.”
The financial terms of the deal have not been made public. However, Henderson, who has worked with Oladipo for nearly seven years, will run the day-to-day activities of the team while the young owner’s input will count when the new owners are making managerial decisions on salary caps and the evaluation of talent.
“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 said. “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.”
According to NBA.com, New Zealand has been one of the league’s most successful and consistent franchises. As the Breakers are putting things in place ahead of the 2021 NBL season, former Florida basketball player Walsh believes they are in a better position to possibly win the league with their early preparations.
Things have been rocky with Oladipo and his Indiana Pacers. Although he is committed to the game, he has also been thinking of life after leaving the court.
“Luckily, I’m at a point in my career where I just need to focus on the game, improve on myself, improve on my body,” Oladipo said. “But when the ball stops bouncing, God willing it’s like 15 years from now, I’ll have lots of options, different avenues I can explore.”
He raptured his quadriceps tendon in January 2019 and has been struggling with it for a while but he now feels the recovery is almost at 100%.