Victor Oladipo will fill a familiar role at the Indianapolis 500: acting as a pacer.
The Indiana guard will serve as the honorary pace car driver to start the May 27 race, it was announced Thursday.
“This is a tremendous honor for me,” Oladipo said in a statement. “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.”
He will lead the 33-car field to the starting line in a 2019 Corvette ZR1. The car can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.85 seconds and reach a top track speed of 212 mph.
Oladipo led the Pacers to a near-upset of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs after being traded to Indiana in the offseason. He has been named a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
“Avengers” actor Chris Hemsworth will wave the green flag to start the race, and Kelly Clarkson will sing the national anthem.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.