Purdue alums sweat it out during basketball family reunion

Despite temperatures reaching the 90s inside Mackey Arena, 28 Boilermaker basketball alums produce an offense-filled game in the first annual reunion event.

WEST LAFAYETTE - So what if his gold jersey was soaked, this was nothing compared to the old days.

"I'm actually feeling pretty good," said David Teague, still in uniform a half hour after Purdue's alumni game had ended. "Back in my day Mackey used to get a lot hotter than this, especially around this time."

Like the former guard, however, this heat didn't seem far removed. Teague, who played from 2003-2007, was among 28 former Purdue basketball players who took to Mackey Arena as the temperatures soared into the 90s in conjuntion with the weather outside.

It wasn't like he minded, though.

"I'm surprised we didn't do this a long time ago," said Teague of the first annual Purdue Basketball Family Reunion.

Indeed the gathering was the first of its kind for the Boilermaker program, attracting the likes of Brian Cardinal, Kenneth Lowe, Carson Cunningham, and others to the basketball court.

A number of players like JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel were in the arena to check out the event along with a crowd estimated between 7,000-8,000.

"They were into the game," said Cardinal, who before a decade long stint in the NBA played for the Boilermakers from 1997-200. "They were excited, they were cheering and it was fun." 

The game helped to make it that way as the teams went up and down the court for 30 minutes divided into "Black" and "Gold" squads. Current Purdue head coach Matt Painter was in charge of the Gold team-which included Teague, Cunningham, and Ryne Smith.

Former coach Gene Keady was in charge of the Black team which consistent of Cardinal, Lowe, Chris Kramer, Lewis Jackson and Troy Lewis. 

Playing one 20 minute half and another for ten, the squads combined to score 143 points as each team cut through the heat to keep it competitive. The Gold team grabbed a three-point lead with under a minute left when Teague hit a top-of-key trey. 

In the end it was Jackson who would have the last laugh. He would hit a three with 45 seconds left to tie the game at 70. Following a rebound Jackson got the ball as the time ticked down, getting it down to two seconds before putting in the game-winning trey to give the Black team a 73-70 victory. 

"It was great," said Jackson of the finish. "Coach told me we're not going to start you, your too young. You've got to finish it for us. So when they put me in I was like 'Why not, I definitely want to beat Coach Painter.'

"So it even felt better when I had the chance to."

It an opportunity that has only come once for the alumni of Purdue basketball so far, but Teague hopes that might change after the success of Saturday's showing. 

"This is going to be something that, if not annually, than every few years I think," said Teague of the possibility of another reunion. "I know a lot of the guys wouldn't mind coming back to do this."

No matter what the temperature gauge might say. 


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