Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo benefitted personally, athletically from trip to China

Jordan Hulls called it a once in a lifetime kind of trip. Victor Oladipo said it was an opportunity he just could not pass up.

The two spent nine days in China earlier this month, playing nine basketball games against various international teams as part of a Reach USA tour of the country.

“Not many people get to go over there, especially to play basketball or go see the Great Wall,” Hulls said.

Reach USA is a Christian-based organization, and part of the trip is based in the idea of evangelism through sports.

“It was a great opportunity for me, both mentally, physically and spiritually,” Hulls said. “We had a lot of bible studies as a team. That was pretty cool. That was probably one of my favorite parts about it, because it brought me closer to God and that’s what I was looking to get out of it.”

The team, which also included former Hoosier Malik Story, could not openly talk about their faith, due to regulations in China.

They could if approached, and also tried to put their best foot forward with fans, which came by the thousands to watch the games.

They saw the USA team go 6-2-1. Hulls primarily played the point guard position, with Oladipo on the wing.

“I tried to run some plays but not everybody wanted to run plays,” Hulls said. “I am a little more old-school than most people, I guess. It was fun just playing my natural position.”

Oladipo won one game on a last-second jump shot, but he also made strides defensively.

Lithanua and Brazil ran a lot of backdoor cuts and screens, elements of the game that are certainly not lost in the Big Ten.

“It definitely helped me a lot, getting through screens, with my conditioning and keeping my head on a swivel,” Oladipo said.

His task was made harder by the officials, who apparently blew the whistle on many a touch foul.

“(Oladipo) couldn’t body up,” Hulls said. “He had to learn how to use his feet and not his hands. He’s a really good defender as it is, so that’s only going to benefit him when it comes to the Big Ten.”

The experience, Oladipo said, brought the teammates together.

“It made it a lot easier,” Oladipo said. “Someone to talk to. … We became closer after.”

Oladipo is back in Washington, D.C. for the time being, but the team will be back together by June 17, when summer school begins.

In the meantime Hulls (who is up to 185 pounds, 10 pounds more than his listed weight) is organizing workouts the best he can.

“We need to play as much as we can,” Hulls said. “Right now we’re short on guys so I am trying to pull people up I know from other  Division I colleges coming back to town.

“… We got to get stronger, quicker, we have to be able to guard the first step on the dribble.”

Will Sheehey has stood out already to Hulls as someone making strides in his play.

“Will has really developed his game,” Hulls said. “I am really impressed with how much he has improved. He’s shooting the ball with a lot of confidence right now.”


  1. “Regulations”, as in Communism… Sounds like they enjoyed the trip and hopefully got better. We will need it.

  2. Great to hear of the experience for Jordan and Victor. Also great to hear that they didn’t get the chance to try to convert any Chinese ‘heathens.’ I’m pretty sure that those people have done just fine for hundreds of generations without Superior Americans lecturing them on what religion they should follow.

  3. Hugh, the headline scared me to death…the last thing I want to read is anything linking IU players to benefits.

    Obviously I calmed down and finished the sentence, and then laughed about it.

  4. Kurk, I am sure you have no idea of Chinese history. No, they are not doing just fine.

  5. Also, the U.S. team went 6-2-1?? Is that the first tie in the history of basketball? Or is this like hockey where an OT win counts differently than a regulation win? Just a few random thoughts ….

  6. Hope they got to read, think about and discuss some of my cousin’s treatise on “The Art of War”.

  7. Now, That is what I call a positive write up!!! Good Job Hugh for bringing it to light!! Both of those kids will enjoy the riches of life though their experience. The story is really not basketball, but two kids growing into respectable young men through athletes. Personally they make me proud!!

  8. It sounds like Hulls, Oladipo and Sheehey are doing great! We already know that Zeller and Etherington are also doing great (Etherington scored 8, 5th best after Zeller, Teague, Dawson (each a McDonald’s All American) and Moore for the All-Stars. I will bet that Remy Abell impresses us against the All Stars. I hope the veteran guys are working hard. I know that Mo Creek is. That is 7 definitely getting better. Go IU!

  9. Hugh,

    Is there any chance the All Star game against Kentucky will be televised?

  10. Where is the stationary front comment?

    BTW, China is communist pretty much in name only these days…

  11. HT is right. Our medical schools are more communist…they only admit Asian students. Jordan and Victor could have easily immersed themselves into Chinese culture by taking a few upper-level science courses at IU. ‘The Great Wall’ is what an inner-city minority kid faces when his application is looked at by an admissions officer. There isn’t a hope in the world you’re competing with those SAT math scores. Our country has lost its manufacturing sector to China while our working class rots. Instead of recognizing the nearly impossible battles working class families(often single-parent) face everyday in crime-ridden neighborhoods when attempting to keep their kids off the streets, we prefer to pump a charade called the ‘American Dream’ and save-your-soul Christianity into every corner the globe. Can we quit feeling sorry for the rest the damn world and take care of the poverty, unemployment, and broken educational system in our decrepit cities that have been shamed by democracy? All these kids can’t grow up to be preachers and correctional officers..A few will need real jobs someday.

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