The return of Cassidy Hardin – Purdue Boilermakers

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The splash is back.


Senior Women’s Basketball Purdue Guard Cassidy Hardin will use its COVID-19 year and return to Purdue for a final season in 2022-23.


“My time as a varsity athlete is limited and if I had the opportunity to play another year, I feel like I would regret it if I didn’t,” Hardin said.


Hardin faced a tough decision when the season ended in the second round of the WNIT – hang up the shoes for good and start medical school, pursue the same career path as his father, Greg, or come back. for the second year of Katie Gearlds time to help the program take the next step.


After carefully weighing the options, Hardin knew she wanted one last season in the old gold and black.


“My plan has always been med school, but just seeing what Coach Gearlds was doing with the team and the season and the changes she was trying to make within our program, I really believed in what she was doing,” Hardin said.


During his first year as head coach, Katie Gearlds guided Purdue to 17 wins in the 2021-22 season. The Boilermakers won only seven games the previous season. Gearlds’ 10-win improvement is the highest by a first-year head coach and tied for third.
This year’s team also broke the record for most 3-pointers made and 3-pointers attempted to break respective records from 2013-14 and 2018-19.


During the 2021-22 campaign, Hardin led the team in 3 points and minutes played. She knocked down 78 3-pointers, which became fourth in Purdue single-season history. After hitting just 24 outside shots as a rookie in 2018-19, Hardin became the 10th player in program history to make a career improvement of more than 40 points, a list that includes Katie Douglas, Ukari Figgs and Katie Gearlds.


After a 2020-21 season in which she started no games, Hardin averaged a career-high 8.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 31 minutes per night, while starting all contests except a. The senior also had a 23-game 3-point streak, good for the third longest in Purdue history.


The 5-foot-10-inch-old cited his family as another contributing factor in his decision to return. Her brother, Cameron, graduated from Purdue with his bachelor’s degree in 2015 and his master’s degree in 2017 and one of her sisters, Carleigh, graduated last year. She felt they really wanted her to stay, but her family left the decision up to her.


“Honestly, they were happy,” Hardin said. “They weren’t going to tell me they wanted me to stay, but they did.”


Hardin grew up in Bargersville, just south of Indianapolis, and has family in Kokomo, so his family strives to get in as many games as possible each season.


Hardin has a 3.94 GPA in honors biochemistry and deferred acceptance to medical school for a year to complete his time with the team. She has been named an Academic All-Big Ten three times and has the potential to become the second Boilermaker in program history to win the laurel four times in her career. She was recently named Most Outstanding Senior by the College of Science in 2021.


His father, Greg Hardin, followed a similar path. He is an orthopedic surgeon and watching him and other doctors helped Cassidy develop an interest in medicine.


Despite the busy schedule, the Hardins have always gone out of their way to attend as many Purdue games as possible, home and away.


“They’re really excited to be able to come and see games for another year and support our team,” Hardin said.


The Boilermakers reached the second round of the WNIT this year, maintaining a streak where every senior class since 1988 has appeared in the playoffs, but one thing has remained elusive in Hardin’s career — an NCAA Tournament bid.


“Purdue belongs to March Madness,” Hardin added. “There have been so many great players who have played here and raised banners by winning a National Championship, Big Ten titles and NCAA tournaments. we’re all here to make sure they call our name on selection Sunday.”


With that goal in mind, Hardin is set to make a splash with her final year at West Lafayette.

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