If you conduct it, they will come. That is the case with the Purdue men’s basketball program, as some of the best Boilermaker players ever will take to the court for a game next month – coached by the legendary Gene Keady.
Keady will return to West Lafayette to lead one of the squads, along with his former player and current Purdue coach Matt Painter, during an alumni game on Aug. 4. The scrimmage will be followed by an intrasquad scrimmage by the current Purdue team, which is preparing for a 10-day exhibition tour in Italy in mid-August.
“Aside from being one of the greatest to ever coach the game,” Painter explained in a release, “Coach Keady has been a mentor to so many men who played for him at Purdue.”
The alumni game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. and among the former Purdue greats currently scheduled to participate are Brandon Brantley, Brian Cardinal, Tarrance Crump, Carson Cunningham, Todd Foster, Keaton Grant, Marcus Green, Matt Kiefer, Chris Kramer, Carl Landry, Troy Lewis, Kenneth Lowe, Todd Mitchell, Bobby Riddell, Ryne Smith, David Teague and Mark Wohlford.
Keady is the most successful coach in Boilermaker history. He guided the Boilermakers to six Big Ten championships, including a “Three-Pete” from 1994-96. Purdue advanced to postseason play in 22 of his 25 seasons at the helm, making the NCAA Tournament 17 times.
In the classroom, the Purdue players graduated at nearly a 90 percent rate during Keady’s tenure. His players were selected Academic All-Big Ten 41 times, including seven Academic All-America selections.
He was selected Big Ten Coach of the Year a record seven times and the nation’s top coach eight times in six different seasons. His record in international competition was equally impressive, as he led U.S. teams to two gold medals, a silver and a bronze, while establishing a sterling 22-2 (.917) record.
On Dec. 12, 1997, the Mackey Arena playing floor was renamed Keady Court to honor the Boilermaker coaching legend. His signature was added to the court in 2011 as part of a makeover of the playing surface.
“(Keady’s) name is synonymous with Purdue basketball and the culture that has been built,” Painter said. “He’s a great man and we’re excited that he can be a part of this event.”
Tickets for the event went on sale to the general public today with lower level (reserved) seats are available for $10, while upper level (general admission) tickets cost $5. A limited number of free tickets (one per student) will be available to Purdue students in the normal student sections.
Tickets may be purchased online at purduesports.com, by calling (800) 49-SPORT or in person at the Purdue Athletic Ticket Office.