Purdue University is one of the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen remaining teams after last weekend’s first two tumultuous rounds of play in the annual college basketball championships known as March Madness.
After watching their senior star 7’2″ center Isaac Haas go down with a fractured right elbow in the first round of the tournament, the 30-6 Boilermakers’ chances of reaching the Final Four took a gigantic (pun intended) hit. The painful injury to the big man’s elbow also means that Haas’ chances of suiting up again for his beloved Boilermakers have all but vanished, too.
The doctors have advised Haas, who is the team’s second-leading scorer at nearly 15 points/game, that his collegiate playing career is over as he requires a season-ending surgery.
The Purdue training staff also told the big man that he has likely played his final game for the old gold and black.
If only someone could just design a specially-fitted protective elbow brace which would also meet the NCAA’s strict guidelines, then the Boilermakers big man could possibly contribute a few points, rebounds and blocked shots on the court for his team. Unfortunately, such a device is not commercially available.
Never say never to the Boilermaker faithful, though. Where there’s a will (to win the school’s first national championship in men’s basketball), there’s a way.
Enter the ever-resourceful, never-say “can’t” Purdue Mechanical Engineering department!
The university’s renowned engineering students have put their minds on designing a specially-made elbow brace to allow their big man a chance to play again Friday night against Texas Tech.
When your school hasn’t advanced past this round in the NCAA tournament in 18 years and hungers to win its first-ever national title, motivation is not a problem in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Purdue head coach, Matt Painter, is hopeful but seems less optimistic than his fanatical engineering team.
The Boilermakers’ injured center, Isaac Haas, would love to get another chance and is keeping his spirits up regardless of the outcome.
“I’m gonna give everything I got, whether that be cheering on the bench or going out and playing two minutes,” Haas said. “I give my heart to these guys and I know they’ll do the same for me.”
Don’t give up, Isaac! Your Mission Impossible team of mechanical engineers may have a March Madness surprise in store for you soon, big fella.
Go, Go, Gadget – elbow brace!