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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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Page 55 of 81

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 56 In training, Haarms was known to smile and dub grueling workouts "fun" in the moment and now fondly remembers sports performance coach Josh Bonhotal's redshirt-season message of, "You might tell me you don't feel well, but I won't care," as he remembers it. Off the court, he spent last season hoarding in his locker scouting reports for games he wouldn't be play- ing in. He still has them, and the stack gets thicker with every game that passes. He has a "nice little shelf for them," though, so they're well taken care of, however unneeded they may be. "I knew that we played some teams twice," Haarms said, "so I didn't want to be that guy who threw his away when it was time to bring them back out." That sort of sums up Haarms, beyond the height and length and surprising offensive skill, stifling defense and unexpectedly physical rebounding, but rather the conscientiousness, effort and zeal, the player who al- ways seems to be smiling, who throws fists in celebra- tion with such authority you wonder if he might be jeop- ardizing a labrum. "I don't know if I've ever played with anyone who's so positive," Thompson said. "I've had a lot of great team- mates in my life, but he might be the most positive one I've ever played with. He's such a good teammate and those are the kinds of guys you need and the kinds of guys I want to play with." Purdue found a good one, a good one who might be turning himself into a great one, the next in the line of outstanding big men to come through the program. And it found him basically by sheer luck. Painter and his coaches cast a wide net in their search for a post player for the 2017 recruiting class, a field that came to include Texan Isiah Jasey, who played at Sunrise Christian, too. There, Painter and then-assistant coach Jack Owens noticed Haarms. He was hard to miss, being 7-3 and all. At the time, though, he was particularly unproven, having played just a single season in America, produc- ing modest numbers. "It took him a little bit of time (to adjust to Ameri- can basketball), to be honest, and that's not uncommon for European kids, especially bigs," Barnwell said, "be- cause there's less space in our game than the European game. It's more physical in some aspects, and it took him a while to adjust to that — the speed, the space, the athleticism, the physicality. And he had to gain some weight, which he did here and has even more (at Pur- due). "But I also had to adjust to his ability and the things he could do that were different than the other bigs we had. We kind of figured out ways to incorporate what he could do offensively, along with his length and versatili- ty and the way he moved, and once that sort of meshed, he was really good for us. It was probably after Christ- mas he made a really big jump for us." Haarms was a reserve, playing behind Jasey, who wound up at Texas A&M, though he'd done enough in Year 1 at Sunrise and in sparse opportunities for the Chauncey Billups Elite summer program to draw offers from Washington State, Colorado, Vanderbilt and oth- ers. During a September trip to Kansas to check in on Ja- sey, Purdue checked in with Haarms. There was an immediate and unexpected connection, as Haarms told Purdue about, well, Purdue. While Haarms was growing up in Amsterdam, a tele- vision package then known as Sport1 broadcast Amer- ican college basketball games in March on one of its channels, NCAA Tournament games. It was around 2010 — Purdue's Big Ten championship season — that he State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas Dallas, TX 1606043 Good day, bad day or any day – I'm here for you in all life's moments, backed by the #1* insurance company for auto, home and life. CALL ME TODAY. For every "oh no," there's an "oh yeah." *Based on written premium as reported by SNL Financial 2014. Trent B Johnson, Agent 249 E State Street West Lafayette, IN 47906 Bus: 765-743-9595

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