By CLIFF BRUNT
Chris Kramer is one of the best defensive players in Big Ten history, the only one to be named to the league’s all-defense team four straight years. He was a member of Purdue’s 2009 Big Ten Tournament and 2010 Big Ten championship teams. The three-time team captain was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2008, 2010). He had career averages of 6.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. He holds program records for steals (274) and steals per game (2.1) and ranks fourth in Purdue history in games played (133), sixth in games started (114), seventh in minutes played (3,704) and 15th in assists (337).
He played on the Indiana Pacers’ summer league team and will head to Germany to resume his professional career this month.
ISL caught up with Kramer by telephone on Friday.
Q: What are your thoughts heading into the alumni game?
A: œI think it’s a great opportunity for the fans to see some of the players from the past one more time. It’s just a great way for all the players to interact with the fans. I think it will be a great time. I think it will be a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Q: You’ve met many of the legends on the list of players coming back. What do you expect from them?
A: œIt’ll be great for those guys to get out there and lace ˜em up again, and a chance to see what kind of shape they’re in compared to some of us young guns.
Q: What can the fans expect to see from you?
A: œI’m more aggressive offensively as a pro than I was in college. I think they’ll see a little more aggressive Chris Kramer.
Q: You were on the team with Carl Landry and David Teague that really started moving Purdue back in the right direction. What will it mean to see those guys?
A: œI’m really looking forward to seeing the guys. Carl really took me under his wing, and Dave really helped me become the defensive player I became, him and (assistant coach) Cuonzo Martin. œ
Q: What was it like living in Germany last year?
A: œYou just learn a lot about yourself, a lot of things you might not have learned if you live at home that your mom would do for you. I had to learn how to cook, clean, do laundry.
Q: You’re one of the more popular ex-Boilermakers, and the fans react positively whenever you come back. What does that mean to you?
A: œI just tried to go out there and play as hard as I could. When you get the response from the fans, it means they appreciate what you did.
Q: Have you ever thought about life after basketball?
A: œYou never know what’s going to happen with basketball and in your life. You just try to keep going. I would love to coach. I would love to do things of that sort to stay close to the game. I’m blessed to have been able to keep playing.
Q: You had a famous dunk in the Big Ten tournament against Penn State. Do you have anything special for the fans?
A: I would like to do something special, maybe a windmill or something if I get in the open court. Actually, I would love to dunk on Chris Reid.
A: “Because he’s sitting right here next to me.