By Nathan Pace
While Purdue’s season has ended due to the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, Center Grove alumna Cassidy Hardin has plenty of basketball still to play. Hardin just finished her sophomore season with the Boilermakers and has a role on the team that continues to grow.
“I think from freshman year to my sophomore year, I've gained a lot of confidence and I know my teammates trust me. I feel I have grown a lot as a person and as a player at Purdue being surrounded by the people that I am,” Hardin said.
Purdue finished 18-14 (8-10 Big Ten) making the Boilers a bubble team to be selected had the tournament gone on. Hardin hopes to play in the NCAA Tournament for her first time in her final two seasons.
Hardin knocked down 37 shots from beyond the arc as a sophomore, up from 24 as a freshman. She feels the higher scoring average is attributed to building confidence.
“There was always a little hesitation ‘should I shoot this shot’ or ‘is this a good shot’ so I definitely had to overcome the mental aspect of the game last year,” Hardin said. “I’ve done a really good job this year with that.”
Her ability to hit 3-pointers led Hardin to the Indiana All-Star after her senior season in 2018 where she was named player of the game against Kentucky that year in Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
While at Center Grove, Hardin had success in tennis and basketball for the Trojans. She won the 2017 state doubles championship on the tennis court. On the basketball floor she helped Center Grove to three sectional crowns while finishing eighth in state history for career makes from three with 260. She averaged almost 18 points per game as a senior.
Plenty can happen in the next two years at Purdue so she isn’t ruling out playing basketball professionally or medical school after her eligibility is up. Until then she is loving her time at Purdue with her teammates.
“My teammates have been great; we’ve really bonded and I think that translated onto the court,” Hardin said. “I really love it at Purdue and I’m really glad that’s what I’ve picked.”