These don't count

Since members of the BS staff cannot enter the contest, this doesn't count. But, I wanted to share a few stories of mine about brushes with Purdue athletes.

Back in the spring of '97, my finals week was pretty slow. I was a Senior Industrial Design major. Most of my projects were complete and I only had one final left...So I headed over to the Co-Rec to play some basketball.

Not surprisingly, the place was pretty empty, so I shot around on court one on the main level where most of the good players usually played...I usually wouldn't have been welcome to play there. After shooting around for a half hour or so, some other guys came onto the court and started shooting around- they had 9 players. So, they asked if I'd run with them...I obliged.

I met my team and looked at the opposition and noticed I was among 9 of Jim Colletto's players. Isaac Jones was the other guard on my team. Joe Hagins and others on the other team. My natural match-up was LB/RB, Lee Johnson. I say that very tongue and cheek... Johnson was at least 5 inches taller than me, 60 pounds heavier and just a touch more athletic.

Early in the game, I just fed Jones who seemed to hit everything. I guarded Johnson pretty well as he didn't want to post me up and my perimeter defense was pretty good back then. But on each of our possessions, Johnson would remind me I wasn't going to score.

After setting up Jones so many times, Johnson laid off me a bit. So I faked a pass over to him on the right wing, and hit a three with the space. Then it was my turn to let Johnson know I had scored...but, more than me, all of Johnson's football teammates reminded him of this as well. Needless to say, I didn't score again, but my team won.

From the silly to the ridiculous
Guarding Johnson was a challenge...but it wasn't physically-brutal- my next assignment was.

My intramural team played a team, and we weren't the most-physically-imposing bunch. Our bigs were all sub-6'2"...and none wanted to guard the other team's point-center. Sure, he wasn't a great basketball player, but he was a monster inside 10 feet.

Back then, I didn't back down to anybody on the basketball court, so I guarded the future Indianapolis Colt, Chukie Nwokori. On the drive, he bulled people over...while the intimidated Intramural refs didn't want to call charging on him. So, I started pressuring the ball at 90 feet. He didn't like that. So, he used his 100 pound weight, and one-foot height advantages by lowering his shoulder all the way down the court time and time again.

I fouled out of the game, got a tech called, nearly got into a fight with Chukie (woulda been a good move)...and our team lost.

I'm not going to name names in the next few quick stories- First, I ran into a former shooting guard at Taco Bell at 3:00am after taking a friend of mine to the emergency room. While my buddy had just gotten 20 stitches, he was in much better shape than Coach Keady's old guard.

-One semester, I took a class in which I was study partners with a Purdue cornerback. He assured me that he wouldn't be at Purdue too long- he'd be heading to the NFL as soon as the rules would allow. He ended up staying for the full four years...but eventually got to the league.

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