Pacers star Victor Oladipo to drive the pace car for this year’s Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 07: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 7, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indiana Pacers star will pace the field for the Indianapolis 500.

Victor Oladipo will drive the pace car for this year’s race, organizers announced Thursday. Oladipo, a former star at IU, had his best season as a pro for the Pacers this year, posting career highs in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals. He made the NBA All-Star Team for the first time in his career and is a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

He was traded to the Pacers from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Paul George. The Pacers also acquired Domantas Sabonis in the deal. The Pacers ended up winning 48 games and were the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. They pushed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in their first-round playoff series.

Now, he’ll take the wheel of this year’s pace car, the 2019 Corvette ZR1.

“This is a tremendous honor for me,” Oladipo said. “I’m so thankful Indiana continues to embrace me, from Indiana University to the Pacers and now the Indianapolis 500, the greatest race in the world. I would like to thank Chevrolet, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Pacers for allowing me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Excited is a huge understatement to how I feel about this. I can’t wait.”

Before starring for the Pacers, Oladipo emerged as one of college basketball’s best players at Indiana University. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 2012-2013 and was the number two overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27.