Feb. 6, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Both JaJuan Johnson and Stacey Lovelace were much more than your average post players. They have both been selected among the 24 Legends of Mackey Arena.
The Purdue University basketball facility is celebrating a $99.5 million expansion/renovation this season by recognizing the 12 most-popular Boilermaker men's and 12 most popular women's players, who have competed in the arena since its dedication in 1967. The 24 Legends of Mackey were chosen through a two-month on-line voting process by fans that garnered some 10,000 ballots.
It was just a year ago when Johnson was dominating the paint at Mackey Arena and throughout the country. After being named first-team All-Big Ten as a sophomore and second team as a junior, he exploded his senior year to average 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. He not only was a consensus All-American, but was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Johnson, along with teammate E'Twaun Moore, posted a four-year record of 107-33 to rank first among Purdue players all-time. On the school career lists, Johnson ranks second with 263 blocked shots, fifth with 854 rebounds and seventh with 1,919 points. Johnson became a first-round NBA draft choice and now plays for the Boston Celtics.
Lovelace was everything one would want in a post player. She shares the Purdue record with 13 career double doubles and ranks second with 876 rebounds and 220 blocked shots. In her four years as a Boilermaker (1992-96), she scored 1,527 points, now 13th all-time in school history. Lovelace was an AP All-American her junior and senior seasons and a Kodak/WBCA first-team All-American as a junior. In the span of 13 years following graduation, she played with eight teams in two professional leagues - Atlanta and New England in the American Basketball League and Seattle, Minnesota, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta and Detroit in the WNBA.
The remaining Legends of Mackey Arena will be announced two per week through the end of March. After the entire list becomes public, a line of products will be developed, including shirts, posters and calendars. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the 6th Boiler Scholarship Fund, which is raising money through the John Purdue Club to ultimately endow Boilermaker basketball scholarships.