All Keith Oddo wanted was an opportunity to continue playing college basketball.
He didn’t necessarily expect to be suiting up for a perennial Top 25 power.
After four years at the University of Richmond, where he began his career as a walk-on, the North Cross School product says he is headed to the University of Louisville as a graduate transfer.
It all started when Oddo applied to the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility, having missed the entire 2015-2016 season, when he was a freshman.
There was no indication that Oddo would have played, “but I had two concussions and a bad ankle injury and those were on medical record,” he said.
“The whole point of doing this was, I wanted to play. The one box that Richmond didn’t really check was, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked.”
He was awarded a basketball scholarship prior to his final season at Richmond, when he played in a career-high nine games. Over three years, he played in 16 games and for a total of 41 minutes.
He scored nine points, including two 3-pointers, a specialty when he played at North Cross.
“I was always on the fence of playing and not playing,” said Oddo, a 6-foot-1 guard. “It was kind of a roller-coaster ride for me.”
Within several weeks of making himself available for the graduate transfer process, Oddo had feelers from four Division II programs.
“The one I was most interested in was from West Virginia Wesleyan,” he said. “I took an official visit up there. They offered me a full ride and a starting position and a student-assistant coaching job my second year.
“I heard from two or three low Division I schools – no offers, but they were keeping me in the loop. I could tell that I was the second or third or fourth guy on their list. Nothing really panned out for me at the low Division I level, which I had assumed based on my college statistics.”
When he was at North Cross, Oddo had come across then-Wofford assistant Kevin Giltner. They spoke again following Virginia Tech’s hiring of ex-Wofford boss Mike Young as the Hokies’ head coach, but a prospective walk-on spot had been filled.
“I was kind of down when I heard that news,” Oddo said, “and then, about an hour later, I got a call from Khwan Fore.”
Fore had been on the team at Richmond before heading to Louisville, where he played in all 34 games for the Cardinals and made 23 starts.
He advised Oddo that all three of Louisville’s walk-ons had transferred and it wasn’t long before a connection was made with the staff. Oddo estimates that he talked with Cardinals’ coach Chris Mack for 20-25 minutes.
“He said, ‘The one thing that I’m worried about is that you kind of did this to play … you know that I can’t promise you that,’ ” Oddo related.
“It’s Louisville. I’m not an idiot. I’m realistic about the situation.”
A Louisville official said there would be no confirmation from the school until paperwork is completed, possibly Monday.
One of Oddo’s motives is that he’d like to get into a basketball-related field.
“Getting into coaching at the college level would probably be the first goal of mine,” Oddo said. “What Chris Mack and I talked about was, my second year is that I want the grad assistant’s spot.
“He doesn’t know me, but what he did tell me was, if I come in here and be a good teammate and be a leader in the locker room, there’s a solid chance that the grad assistant’s spot could be mine.”
A grad assistant’s spot would pay for his second year in school as he contemplates a Masters in sports administration.
“I’m coming in there, I’ve made the team, I don’t have to try out, I’m going to be traveling with the team, I’m going to be staying in the basketball dorm,” Oddo said. “It’s exciting.”