VIDEO: Vermont’s Josh Speidel honored at Purdue

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When Josh Speidel made his commitment to play for John Becker at Vermont, he was expected to be a significant contributor upon his arrival. However tragedy struck in February, as Speidel suffered a major head injury in a car accident. While the rehabilitation process has been a difficult one for Speidel, he has remained a part of the program he committed to joining while in high school.

And that commitment goes both ways with Vermont doing everything they can to make sure Josh is part of the program, from weekly phone calls to even sending him film to study. And thanks to a waiver granted by the NCAA, Vermont was allowed to have Speidel on the bench with them as they took on No. 23 Purdue at Mackey Arena.

Speidel, who played at Columbus North (Indiana) HS and was an AAU teammate of Purdue’s Ryan Cline and Grant Weatherford, was honored prior to the game by Purdue. Per a source, Vermont did not know of Purdue’s plans to honor Speidel before the game until about an hour before tip when Purdue coach Matt Painter informed the team.

Cline and Weatherford led their teammates over to greet Speidel on the court, and the student section chanted Josh’s name.

Vermont’s Ernie Duncan discussed the opportunity to have Speidel on the bench, as well as his emotions as Purdue’s players greeted Speidel before the game, with Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Ernie Duncan, who scored 18 points in the 107-79 Purdue victory. “To have him around the guys and feel like he’s a part of our team is a great thing. When I saw what Purdue did to come over and hug him — it brought tears to my eyes.”

Vermont has and will continue to honor Josh’s scholarship. With Speidel continuing to make progress in his recovery, hopefully it won’t be long before he’s able to make the trip to Burlington to watch his teammates play a home game.

Video credit: RTV6 The Indy Channel