She said yes. So it made for a perfect ending it what has been an oh, so imperfect season.
A knee injury has sidelined Hartman all season. If he had been healthy, if teammate OG Anunoby had avoided is own season-ending injury, the Hoosiers (16-13 overall, 6-10 in the Big Ten) might have contended for championships.
Anyway, Hartman has one more season of eligibility if he wants it. Coach Tom Crean says he’s welcome to return. Hartman says he hasn’t decided. He isn’t fully healthy yet, for one thing, although he is making progress.
“It’s been a good four years so far,” he says. “I have not yet decided if I’m going to play or go.
“I love this staff. I love what this university has done for me, and how it’s made me who I am today. Coach Crean has done a great job of supporting me, whatever route I decide. We use the terminology that it’s good to have options.”
During his time at IU, Hartman played every position except the band. He was a center for while. He played guard, forward, point forward. Basically, he did whatever Crean and his staff needed him to do, and there have been plenty of needs.
He was a formidable three-point shooter, and always – always – a hustle guy.
“He’s done everything you could possible ask for,” Crean says. “He’s been through a lot here. He’s had a huge, huge part in our success.
“It’s very easy to see where we miss him. He’s done an incredible job. If he decided he wants to continue doing this, we’ll have another Senior Day. In case he doesn’t, he’s earned the ability to do it now.”
That included the classroom, where he graduated in three years. For now, though, it’s all about rehabbing, a process he’s very familiar with considering he tore up his knee as a freshman, played with a busted right wrist last spring and, in short, has endured enough injuries for five people.
“It’s been a long, grueling process whenever you go through surgery,” he says. “It’s not fun, but you give yourself little challenges week by week. You hit this goal, this goal, do this, be able to do that.
“I’ve found it helps me progress faster, rather than being sad or mopey. It’s coming along slowly, but it is what it is. You just have to keep grinding.”
And so Hartman is.
“He’s meant so much to the program,” Crean says. “He’s earned the right to make it his call (on whether to return). If he comes back to play again, he’s more than welcome. If he decides to move on in life, he’s more than welcome to.”