March 6, 2012
Kelly Komara and Chris Kramer were two guards from northern Indiana who played with renowned skill, passion and heart. 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.
Coming to Purdue from Schererville, Ind., Komara brought a combination of sheer shooting talent and unrelenting scrappiness to Mackey Arena. The former Indiana Miss Basketball made an early impression, shooting better than 41 percent from three-point range and being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. She would go on to finish ninth on Purdue's all-time list for three-pointers made with 137, and she presently ranks 10th with 402 assists and 17th with 1,266 points. Offense was not her only strength, though, as Komara was equally skilled on the defensive end of the floor. From 1999 through 2002, Komara accumulated 297 steals, ranking her fifth all-time on the Purdue career list. In her senior season, she set a school record with 120 steals and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Hailing from Huntington, Ind., Kramer played with unmatched tenacity and was known for doing whatever it took to help his team win. From the beginning, Kramer was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end of the floor. In his first season, he shattered Purdue's freshman record with 64 steals, and he went on to finish his career as Purdue's all-time steals leader (fourth in the Big Ten) with 274 thefts. He became the first player in conference history to be named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team four times and was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year twice. Kramer presently ranks 15th on the school career assists list with 337, and he scored 850 points.
The remaining Legends of Mackey Arena will be announced two per week through the end of this month. 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
Feb. 27: Figgs / Lewis
March 5: Komara / Kramer