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Zach Edey adds two more huge trophies to an already huge collection

On3 imageby:Brian Neubert04/05/24


Player Of The Year Awards — Purdue's Zach Edey

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Whether it’s trophies, plaques, those commemorative basketballs, Zach Edey has been quite the award hoarder at Purdue the past two seasons, adding two more biggies on Friday, as he was unsurprisingly announced as the winner of the Associated Press Player-of-the-Year honor and the USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Trophy. The Naismith will likely follow in a few weeks.

As the awards keep piling up, the smaller Chris Forman’s second-floor Mackey Arena office gets, as it’s his workspace that has taken most of the brunt of Edey’s prestigious clutter.

The program’s sports information director and media contact/wrangler, Forman shares an office with a large cart full of Edey’s hardware and shares a desk with two of college basketball’s holy grails; last year’s Naismith Award and AP Player-of-the-Year trophy literally sit on Forman’s desk.

“He doesn’t want them in his apartment, so I’m holding them for him for now,” Forman said.

For now.

“I’ll figure out what to do with it when I finally move on,” Edey said.

Once this Final Four ends, so will Edey’s Purdue career. He’ll be off to wherever his professional opportunities take him; his mother, Julia, will return to the family’s native Toronto.

“I don’t know how he’s going to transport them all home,” Forman said. “He’s going to have to get a bigger car or something.”

It’s a good problem to have.

Edey was the player-of-the-year last season and it wasn’t close.

He came back for his senior season, under the microscope, carrying the weight of Purdue’s failure last March. He strangely became a polarizing figure in his sport.

“He just has such a hard day-to-day (situation),” said Braden Smith said. “The stuff he gets told, all the hate, he doesn’t deserve any of that. He’s such a humble dude and so unselfish. Just seeing him go out there every day, he doesn’t do anything wrong but he just gets hated on for it.”

It was never Edey’s goal to repeat as Player of the Year.

“I don’t think he even thinks about those things,” teammate Trey Kaufman-Renn said. “For him, it’s just every day, getting better and letting the chips fall where they may.”

But he not only matched all he did last season, but did even more.

He’s player-of-the-year again, and it hasn’t been close.

“He dominated,” guard Fletcher Loyer said. “His determination to do this sort of thing again was really impressive. It’s obviously very hard to stack up to the year he had last year. He really trusted what Coach told him, which was to play hard every night, and that we’d find him and he’d get on the glass and find ways to win.

“The really impressive thing is that it’s led to so many wins. I don’t think that gets talked about enough.”

It’s been quite a run.

“It’s amazing,” Edey said. “I don’t think it’s even really set in fully yet. Maybe when I look back in a few years, it’ll be, ‘Wow, that happened.’

“I don’t want to reminisce right now. We have one more weekend of basketball to play. When hat’s over maybe I can take a step back and really think about what I’ve done this season.”

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