by Dan Longtin, Kendra Syphers, and Emily
When coach David Chadbourne saw Oladoyin Fadojutimi during a workout in Temple Hills, MD, he knew there was something special about him.
“What stood out to me the first time I ever saw him play was the level of energy he played with,” said Chadbourne. Soon after, Chadbourne successfully recruited Fadojutimi (fade-oh-jew-tee-me) to play for Franklin Pierce for the 2015/16 season.
However, things didn’t work out as planned because Fadojutimi was red shirted for the 2015/16 season because of academic reasons. Chadbourne’s faith in Fadojutimi was confirmed when his ineligibility to play didn’t change the energy that he brought from the sidelines. Fadojutimi worked hard during practices, always bringing the energy to get his team going.
“I’m more of an energy kind of guy, so wherever we need energy whether it’s defense or rebounding I just try and be versatile and have energy while I’m doing it,” said Fadojutimi.
His time spent on the sidelines ended this season when he got time on the court halfway through the season. His season and a half off the court reminded him of the lessons that Chadbourne had taught him about accountability. “He’s not real hard to motivate and he wants to succeed, he wants to be the best he can be,” said Chadbourne. “Those kind of guys aren’t hold to hold accountability wise.”
Fadojutimi said, “You got to always look at yourself first before you look at the team. I feel like stuff he teaches off the court translates to on the court, he’s been a father figure for me.”
Even though Fadojutimi sat out the first ten games of the season, he has now brought his talent to the court. In his first three games, he scored a total of 46 points which led him to his first Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week award. “It was really humbling to come out from sitting a year, and even half of this year, and get awarded with that after my first three games.” said Fadojutimi. “It showed me that I can keep going and reach for it.”
Fadojutimi believes that the team will make it to the NCAA Tournament, “I think we have a shot at winning the NE-10 conference, we just have to find the right stride. We’re been taking hard losses as lessons and learning from them, and our ultimate goal is to get to the NCAA Tournament,” said Fadojutimi.
Chadbourne said, “I honestly think the future is bright for this program. Obviously, we are going to miss the four seniors, but we have good kids coming in and a really good group coming back. I feel very good about where we are at.” The men’s basketball team has five games left before the regular season comes to a close.
In the most recent game, Fadojutimi played only 11 minutes but made major contributions in his time on the court. Fadojutimi went 3 of 4 from the field and 2 of 3 from 3 point range finishing with 8 points and also adding 2 steals and 2 rebounds
Fadojutimi is currently averaging 8.4 points per game, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals a game. His next game will be at home against Merrimack College in the Fieldhouse. Tipoff will be 3:30 PM.
“Academics wasn’t a priority for him when he was younger, but that’s developed for him as well, and I think he’ll be an exceptional student by the time he’s done here,” said Chadbourne.