Ex-hoops player still hustling for Purdue

Anyone who follows basketball knows that great rebounders all share one thing in common, and it’s not extraordinary height.

They all work really hard.

Former Purdue forward Brian Cardinal, who helped the Boilermakers to an Elite 8 finish his senior year of 1999-2000 after two consecutive Sweet 16s, played 12 NBA seasons because he had an incredible work ethic to go along with his considerable talent.

So it appears the Purdue Club of Bartholomew County couldn’t have found a better main guest for its 2015 Golf Outing and Scholarship Banquet on Thursday at Harrison Lake Country Club.

The purpose of the banquet is to present and celebrate the Robert H. McMillan Memorial Scholarship winners, and those scholarships aren’t earned without a lot of hard work in the classroom.

At 11 a.m., a lunch will be served before a golf scramble tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. A banquet social hour starts at 6 p.m., dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:15 p.m. Although the deadline for signing up has passed, club president Lisa McHone said you can still get into the festivities by calling her at 812-344-4060 or vice president Chris Smith at 812-343-8094 immediately.

Golfing green fees are $60, and an adult dinner is $27 (a child younger than 12 dines for $10). The golf lunch is $12. If you want to become a primary sponsor, $195 gets you golf and dinner, or $125 gets you primary sponsor status and just includes dinner.

You probably won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit with Cardinal, who now spends his time representing Purdue.

“This is important,” Cardinal said of his visit to Columbus. “You have a lot of good Purdue alums out there and not everyone can get back to campus. I got involved with this job so I could discuss the things that are going on at Purdue. I share those things with people and I am able to tell them ‘thank you’ for their involvement with the alumni associations.

“Purdue is such a special place. It is where I met my wife (Danielle) and where my career started. Purdue had a tremendous impact on me and my family. I feel that this job is a special opportunity that I have.”

After 12 years in the NBA, including a world championship season with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, Cardinal could have gone any direction in his post-playing career life. He wanted to give back to Purdue.

“I am able to impact the university in my role,” he said. “And for me, this has been a blast.

“I have a unique platform, and I embrace that. I try to make a difference. The fact that I played for 12 years in the NBA, I can take those experiences and share them.”

Cardinal, who played with the Pistons, Wizards, Warriors, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Mavericks, has represented Purdue at alumni functions all over the country.

“Purdue’s reach is incredible,” he said. “We have more than 400,000 living alumni, so I’m all over the place. I’ve done outings in New York City, California and Florida. I’ve been to Bangor, Maine. I never thought I would be in Bangor, Maine.”

Many times, the the outing includes golf.

“I think I could be better than I am,” he said of his golf. I show in the low 90s or higher. I’m all over the board.”

He might not have the time to get better at golf because he is talking to so many people about his university.

“When I meet those alumni, we have so many things in common.”

Along with everything else, a silent auction will be conducted at the banquet that will feature “unique Purdue memorabilia.”