Robbie Hummel hasn’t played a game for Purdue in almost two years. To say he’s eager for the 2011-12 season to begin is a massive understatement.
Even if it will be somewhat bittersweet.
Purdue’s senior forward is preparing for his fifth season with the Boilermakers, which was one more than he envisioned when he arrived in West Lafayette in the fall of 2007 with fellow “Baby Boilers” E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson. The three helped elevate Purdue into one of the sport’s more consistently good basketball programs, winning at least 25 games each of the last four years.
But no Final Fours. Last season was supposed to the year, but Moore and Johnson didn’t have Hummel when he tore his ACL last October for the second time in an eight-month span. And that ruined the plan.
“Obviously, I didn’t think I would be at Purdue now,” Hummel said. “I really thought I would be in the NBA with JaJuan and E’Twaun. That’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was 2 years old. It has been frustrating, but I have learned a lot about myself. When you have good friends and a good family, you appreciate things more. It has been hard, but it’s going to work out for the best.
“To play for coach Painter, you have to be tough, and I’ve gotten tougher since I’ve been at Purdue. In high school, I never had hardships to deal with. I missed one game with a concussion, but otherwise, I didn’t even have a sprained ankle. Then I got to college, and it was like the wheels fell off.”
That’s from an excellent feature by Jeff Washburn, who goes over the painful injury issues Hummel’s had while at Purdue and the reaction from his teammates, family and the Purdue community.
And don’t worry if you find yourself rooting for Hummel to succeed, even if you’re not a Purdue fan. Michigan State’s Draymond Green says “everybody is pulling for Robbie.”
Go get ‘em Robbie.
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