Goodman League Roundball Classic Doubles as Family Reunion
Elton Hayes | 8/28/2013, 3 p.m.
Joan Oladipo’s chair rested just inches from the baseline of the DeMatha Catholic High School gymnasium’s shiny hardwood floor. Flanked by her daughter and a handful of relatives, the family’s excitement increased as the game progressed.
Eventually, Oladipo ditched the chair, jumped to her feet and joined the hundreds of boisterous fans who watched the scoring battle that played out between Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and her son Victor, who plays for the Orlando Magic.
At the end of the first half, the young basketball player didn’t join his teammates in the locker room. Instead, the Upper Marlboro, Md., native, jogged over to his mother, gave her a big hug and only then made his way to the locker room.
“He said ‘Hi Mommy,’” Joan Oladipo said. “It’s just a good, warm feeling. I’m so happy and blessed and I thank God every day for all of [Victor’s] accomplishments.”
Victor Oladipo’s trip back to the area he calls home was brief – he boarded a flight to Orlando, Fla., shortly after the game ended – but he made the most of it.
The former DeMatha standout scored 28 points and helped power his team to a 116-116 tie in the Goodman League Roundball Classic held at DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md., on Sunday, Aug. 25.
Victor Oladipo, who watched local stars tear through the Goodman League as a youngster, didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation to play in the nationally-renowned classic once it was offered.
“I grew up watching games like this and dreaming about playing in them,” said the 21-year-old who was the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. “To be able to come out here and play and share the same court with [Durant], Mike Beasley, Josh Selby and so many other great players is truly a blessing.”
The Goodman League formed in 1975 and its games are currently played at the Barry Farm Dwellings basketball courts in Southeast. The league attracts both professional and amateur players and its games draw hundreds of fans each year.
While the Oladipo-Durant matchup garnered a lot of attention from the standing-room-only crowd, nearly a dozen NBA and college stars, and former high school standouts dazzled the crowd throughout the evening.
The Oladipo family reunion was just one of many.
Former Suitland High School guard Bobby Maze enjoyed stops at colleges in Oklahoma and Kansas before finally settling into the point guard position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Maze’s collegiate journey put some distance between him and his mother. However, the classic reunited the two, as well as others they haven’t seen in years.
“This is exciting. I’ve been able to see a lot of people who I haven’t seen since [Bobby] played for Suitland High School,” said Maze’s mother CoCo Wazir, who lives in Waldorf, Md. “It’s like a homecoming. I’ve seen so many people who went to high school with [Bobby], I’ve seen former coaches, parents – people I haven’t seen in six or seven years.”
Maze used the classic as an opportunity to showcase his hometown to one of his former college teammates.