Q&A with Oludotun Oni, father of Miye Oni

Yale junior forward Miye Oni is one of Ivy League basketball’s most electrifying talents, a NBA-caliber standout and Ivy Player of the Year candidate who ranks in the league’s top 10 in scoring, assists, three-point percentage, three-point field goals, blocks, free-throw percentage, rebounding, assist-to-turnover ratio and minutes played. His father Oludotun resides in California and attends many Yale games. 

Ivy Hoops Online: Has Miye always been such a young age very interested in basketball?

Oludotun Oni: Yes, as early as two years old. He loved to shoot the ball and he always wanted to wear his Kobe jerseys. We bought him a toy hoop and he would shoot the ball all day long. He never got tired of it; he would cry when it was time to wrap it up. I remember him asking me to lift him up so he could “dunk.”  He was so excited one day when Derek Fisher, then with the LA Lakers, gave him a “high-five” during an event at the Valencia mall in California. When he was five years old, he and his older sister (Toni) played in the YMCA league, then later in the church league, and the Los Angeles Rec./Park league. We also took both of them to the Michael Jordan Flight School camp at UC Santa Barbara for a couple of years.

IHO: Did he play other sports?

OO: Yes, he ran track in his junior year of high school, which really helped his athleticism. He did play some football in lower and middle school. He played many positions in football but excelled as safety and wide receiver. He also played one season of baseball in lower school.

IHO: What made him choose Yale?

OO: The unique combination of world-class education and high-level basketball. Coach (James) Jones and his coaching staff believed in his abilities and made him feel welcome during his unofficial visit.

IHO: What are his ultimate career goals?

OO: He wants to play in the NBA and use it as a platform to inspire and help people.

IHO: Are there other athletes in the family?

OO: His mom played netball in high school and I played intramural soccer in college. His older sister (Toni) was really good at basketball and volleyball in high school but decided not to pursue them in college, despite receiving basketball interests from Penn, Columbia and Princeton. She graduated from Cornell and attended Columbia for graduate school. My mother also ran track and played netball in high school.

IHO: Do you get to see many of his games living in California?

OO: I attended almost all his games during his freshman year. I went to about half of his games last year and I’m on track to do the same this year, having started with the China game. We watch the rest of his games on ESPN+.

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