Oct. 12, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Athletics hosted The Tip-Off Before the Kickoff on Friday in a celebration of its football and men's and women's basketball teams in conjunction with Homecoming weekend.
The event kicked off with the annual Homecoming pep rally, which featured an appearance by head coach Danny Hope and the Purdue football team. Senior Tommie Thomas took the mic for the football team and led the crowd in a spirited version of the 'Boiler Up, Hammer Down' cheer.
The Homecoming king and queen were also crowned on Keady Court.
The basketball portion of the evening began with a performance by musician "Dirk Hunter," who in reality was senior D.J. Byrd in disguise. Byrd, a self-taught guitarist, prepped the crowd with a few songs before revealing his true identity.
After both basketball teams were introduced, the student-athletes from both squads performed a dance for the crowd that they had worked on in the weeks leading up to the event.
Part of the evening's program was a skills competition that required teams of three to make a lay-up, free throw, three-pointer and halfcourt shot in alternating format. The contest was won by the trio of Byrd, women's basketball freshman Hayden Hamby and Gold Mine member Jeremy Patterson.
Head coaches Matt Painter and Sharon Versyp addressed the crowd before the teams each held slam dunk contests to wrap up the evening. Jacob Lawson won the men's competition, while Sam Ostarello claimed the women's contest.
The Boilermaker football team will face Wisconsin on Saturday at noon ET in the centerpiece of Homecoming weekend.