EXCLUSIVE ‘You will be judged on whatever they do’: Love Island’s Ovie Soko fears seeing the wrong girl could wreck his basketball career and he has to ‘think twice’ before going on dates
Ovie Soko fears dating the wrong girl could wreck his basketball career and says even Cristiano Ronaldo‘s image would be tainted if he was ‘hanging out with the wrong people.’
The Love Island star, 29, who plays for French Pro A side Le Mans Sarthe, told MailOnline he has to be ‘very aware’ of who he lets in otherwise he could be ‘judged’ by the actions of his partner.
In an exclusive interview, the basketball player said he doesn’t have time for romance as he has to stay committed to the sport – and he’s been single since his split from India Reynolds, 29.
‘Very aware.’: Ovie Soko fears dating the wrong girl could wreck his basketball career and says even Cristiano Ronaldo’s image would be tainted if he was ‘hanging out with the wrong people’
The TV personality, who stars in BBC Three documentary Ovie: Life After Reality TV, said: ‘It’s tough to find time for extracurricular activities to be honest.
‘As a sportsman, that’s tiring enough and you have to be locked in and focused. You have to be very aware of who you’re letting in around you.
‘It’s not only about having the time, it’s the people in your company, and you will be judged on whatever they do.
‘For namesake, if Ronaldo was hanging out with people who were doing what they weren’t supposed to be doing, he’ll be judged like he was doing it. It’s being very aware.
‘It comes with the territory’: The Love Island star, who plays for French Pro A side Le Mans Sarthe, has to be ‘very aware’ of who he lets in case he’s ‘judged’ by the actions of his partner
Exes: The basketball player said he doesn’t have time for romance as he has to stay committed to the sport – and he’s been single since his split from India Reynolds
‘I am very serious when it comes to who I hang around with. I wouldn’t say being on Love Island has made dating any harder – it’s just different. I’ve had to become more aware in England when before I wouldn’t have thought twice.
‘It comes with the territory, it’s not something that’s a surprise for me, I signed up for this.’
Ovie hasn’t given up on finding The One someday, admitting that when he falls in love, it’s a feeling that completely takes over.
He added: ‘When the right person comes along or someone I feel strongly about – there’s not much I can do about it.
‘Emotions and the whole thing going on sort of just sweep you up. I wouldn’t say I’m in complete control.’
Cautious: Ovie said: ‘I’ve had to become more aware in England when before I wouldn’t have thought twice’ when going on dates – as he works to protect his career in basketball
Ovie rose to fame on Love Island in 2019 and is now living in Le Mans, France where he plays professional basketball.
He split from lingerie model India four months after the ITV2 series finished and has since remained private about his love life.
After amassing 2million Instagram followers thanks to his laid back personality and respectful attitude towards women, Ovie became unsure whether to further his career as a reality star or to continue his previous goal as an athlete.
His new BBC Three documentary sees Ovie look into the world of reality TV, and weigh up the pros and cons of living life in the public eye.
‘Emotions and the whole thing sweep you up’: Ovie hasn’t given up on finding The One someday, admitting that when he falls in love, it’s a feeling that completely takes over
He said: ‘Love Island is huge and I knew I was going onto a reality TV show but the last time I was in England for an extended period of time, was when I was 16 so the closest thing to my mind was Big Brother and when that first really blew.
‘I wasn’t all the way familiar with Love Island. I didn’t know how big it was, I was blown away when I first came out.
‘Going on the show, I just wanted to enjoy the opportunity and it was for me to be myself and not necessarily have to be Ovie the athlete for once.
‘I felt it would be pretty cool, besides the experience, just to be myself.
‘When you’re an athlete you have to carry yourself a specific way, you have to almost speak a certain way – there are so many requirements that are attached to being an athlete that go unspoken a lot of the time.’
After deciding to return to his basketball career full time, Ovie said his summer in the ITV villa feels like a distant memory.
He added: ‘I feel like I have woken up from the wildest dream. It was a privilege to take part and I enjoyed my experience.
‘It was a cool spot to be in but now I’m back playing basketball it’s weird. It’s almost like – it feels like a dream.’
The downside of fame for most reality stars is dealing with the onslaught of online trolls and despite his popularity, Ovie reveals he is no different.
On occasions he’s ‘shutdown’ Instagram for up to three weeks to give him time away from social media, which he describes as often being a ‘nasty place.’
Filming: Ovie’s new BBC Three documentary sees him look into the world of reality TV, and weigh up the pros and cons of living life in the public eye
He said: ‘No one is immune to trolling. If you’re in front of so many people you’re bound to have some people that believe the opposite to you and in turn, have some nasty s*** to say.
‘It comes down to being in a unique situation and okay, having an online presence has become a source of income. However, because basketball is my deal, if I feel like online is a nasty place today, I don’t have to be present.
‘I can just shut it down and I won’t look at it for three weeks. I don’t see it as something like I have to know everything and I have to be online, I just don’t.
‘Naturally, as humans we’re not supposed to take on that level of information.’
BBC Three’s Ovie: Life After Reality TV is available on iPlayer now. It will also air on BBC One on Tuesday 17th November, at 10:45
‘Nasty place’: He explained one downside of fame is dealing with the onslaught of online trolls, and he’s been known to deactivate Instagram for up to three weeks to take a break from it