MANHATTAN — At a hastily called press conference in Low Memorial Library, Columbia star guard Maodo Lo announced his retirement from the game of basketball, citing his intent to begin a career as an artist.
Though most in attendance expected Lo, the third leading scorer in Columbia history, to declare for the NBA Draft, the 6-foot-2 scoring guard stated that he felt a call to the world of studio art.
“Basketball is fine, but it just doesn’t touch my soul,” Lo told a perplexed crowd of journalists.
“Crossover dribbles are beautiful, sure, but they are fleeting. You can only ponder them for a mere moment before I shoot a three-pointer over some guy’s head,” Lo observed. “With art, I can ask the question — what is a crossover? Why do we feel what we feel when we see it? These are the questions I wish to explore in my painting.”
In response to questions from German media, the unanimous All-Ivy selection said that representing Germany in the Olympics was less important to him than continuing to hone his artistic skills.
“It’s like, I could play basketball in the Olympics, or I could create a thought-provoking piece of art which will inspire viewers long after I have left this mortal coil,” Lo said. “It was a hard decision.”
Lo is not the first Ivy basketball player to feel the pull of the artistic world. Brandon Sherrod sat out the 2014-2015 season to tour with the Yale a cappella group “The Whiffenpoofs,” while Conor Voss left Columbia earlier this year to pursue his lifelong dream of joining the New York City Ballet.