Iowa's Olaseni experiences life in a fishbowl

Rick Brown

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Gabe Olaseni knows he lives in a fishbowl as a member of Iowa's basketball team.

"It comes with the territory," the senior center said. "If you play Division I sports, people care about your health and safety."

Olaseni was reminded of that after he injured his left ankle in practice Monday. He wore a protective boot to classes on Tuesday. Someone took a picture of him in the boot as he rode a bus, and it soon went viral.

"I just wanted to wear the boot to make sure I wasn't feeling any worse," said Olaseni, who had a career-high 16 rebounds in a loss Saturday at Purdue.

Olaseni didn't know the picture existed until Matt Weitzel of Iowa's media relations office texted him.

"When I'm on campus, I'm in a world of my own," Olaseni said. "I was just on my phone, listening to music. Not aware of anything that's going on."

Olaseni practiced Thursday, and said he'll be able to play Saturday when Iowa hosts No. 5 Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"I appreciate everyone's concern, but I'm doing well," Olaseni said.

He was injured when he landed on his own ankle after blocking Nick Baer's shot.

"It felt good to do that for a second," Olaseni said. "Then it felt really bad."