Feb. 20, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Katie Gearlds and Cuonzo Martin were two sharpshooters that were known for being able to punish opponents from almost anywhere on the court. 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.
Gearlds was an effective scorer from the beginning of her career at Purdue to the end. The Beech Grove, Ind., native scored 1,974 points for the Boilermakers from 2004 through 2007, ranking her fourth all-time. Her three-point shooting ability set her apart, as she is first all-time with 628 three-pointers in her career. In 2007, Gearlds won both the women's and overall State Farm College Three-Point Championships. In the same year, she set the school record for most points scored in a game with 41 against Wisconsin and tied Stephanie White for most points scored in a season with 707. Gearlds was named first-team All-Big Ten in 2006 and 2007. After her senior season, Gearlds was selected in the WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm, and she presently plays in Spain.
Martin was the definition of a sharpshooter, especially during his last two years at Purdue after going 0-for-7 from three-point range his first two years. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward from East St. Louis, Ill., shot a school-record 45.1 percent from behind the arc, connecting on 179 of 397 attempts as a junior and senior. He ranks fifth all-time at Purdue in career three-pointers made and 13th in points with 1,666. Martin's shooting ability and lockdown defense helped lead the Boilermakers to back-to-back Big Ten Conference championships in 1994 and 1995. He was named first team All-Big Ten in 1995. After brief stints in the NBA with Atlanta, Vancouver and Milwaukee, Martin returned to Purdue as an assistant coach under Gene Keady in 2001, became assistant head coach under Matt Painter and moved up to head coach at Missouri State in 2008 and Tennessee last March.
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.
Legends of Mackey Arena
Jan. 9: Mount / Versyp
Jan. 16: Landry / White
Jan. 23: Carroll / Holmes
Jan. 30: Cardinal / Joseph
Feb. 6: Johnson / Lovelace
Feb. 13: Miller / Wisdom-Hylton
Feb. 20: Gearlds / Martin