My Favorite Eighteen Photos From the 2017-2018 Purdue Women’s Basketball Season
I say this every year, but I need to see more Purdue women’s basketball in person. This year I saw more than last year, but still not nearly as much as I used to. In the past I attend nearly every home game, and a handful of away games. I would also never miss them playing in the Big Ten Tournament. I thought of this as I was driving to a job listening to them play in the tournament on the radio. There are some great pieces on this team that will have it competing past the first day of the tournament in the next couple of years. They will be fun to watch. Here are my favorite images that I made of the team from the 2017-2018 season.
18. One of the highlights of the season for me was season Ukari Figgs recognized with a bobblehead. She was a fun player to watch during her time at Purdue. She is a winner too. Here she shares some information with the current Purdue squad that will help them beat Penn State.
17. The last couple of weeks I have been able to shoot in some cool arenas that have a cool background. Over the last few years Mackey Arena has really become a fun place to photograph inside. You get a lot of great things that you can incorporate into your photos.
16. These moments are so much fun to capture. When one player is just going off the bench usually erupts. I don’t know if these kids are old enough to remember the old Michael Jordan shrug, but Abby Abel to me seemed to be doing a great impression of it.
15. Abby and the bench enjoying another great moment here. Abby is one of those players that every team needs to have. She is a great presence that keeps things fun. She also does some great things off of the court as well. When you think of a student athlete and what that should mean players like Abby should come to mind.
14. Part of the future that I talked of above is Miracle Gray. I love shots of the players with their coach in the background giving them instruction.
13. When I used to be a fan of the team they used to pride themselves on getting the best in the state to Purdue. Karissa McLaughlin is certainly that player. Another Miss Indiana on a Purdue roster. When I talk about the future of this program it starts with her.
12. One player that was tremendous fun to photograph for four years was Andreona Keys. It also took me four years to be confident enough about typing her first name. Keys is a tough, gritty player that gave me some great images during her time at Purdue. I was not able to be at senior day this year, but I would have liked to have seen her play one last game at Mackey. Maybe the upcoming tournament situation will allow that.
11. The intros at Purdue have become a must see event. It is hard to even think back to my time in the stands at what the introductions were like. Purdue has really come a long way in the last few years with the product they have given their fans. Here Pete enjoys the end of the intros.
10. Here you can see a lot of the recent upgrades to Mackey Arena in one photo. On the day of the pink zone game I was trying to incorporate some of the arena into my photos. It is great to see so many come together for a good cause.
9. Lamina Cooper is another good young player on this team. Here she puts an easy one in early in the season.
8. I have made some great shots of Keys over the years. This year I don’t know that I made anything too great of her. Some of that is lack of attendance on my part. She gives you great stuff every game, you just have to be in the right place to get it. This is a fun picture of her driving. When she set her mind on getting to the basket she would get there.
7. Here is another shot of Karissa McLaughlin early in the season. The little that I was able to see and hear of the team showed me that she really grew as the season went on. I really think that she will be something else when it is time for her to hang up her Purdue gear.
6. Another shot of Andreona Keys. Once again you see the will to win as she drives to the basket. She could put the team on her back and provide a spark. That is a trait that is hard to replace.
5. This is just fun. Before the pink zone game the coaches came out to dance with the team at half court. The pink zone game means so much, but to this team it seems to mean even more. The coaches have been through a lot, and it is fun to see them having a little fun.
4. Lamina Cooper with another floater. Going through my photos I realized that I liked a lot of the photos that Lamina was in. Some players just have a way of playing that looks good on camera. As I said in yesterday’s post Qiydar Davis was that player for Indiana State. The first one that I ever noticed like that was Achim Hunt on the Purdue football team. It was hard to make a bad picture of that guy. From what I saw in limited experience this year Lamina might be that player on the women’s team.
3. This is not a good photo. Let’s get that out of the way right away. That is why I call this list my favorite images instead of the 18 most technically brilliant photos I made during the year. This one is on here out of pure vanity. I made it during one of the first games of the year, and it showed up as the header image for the official Twitter account of the team. There has been some sense of pride this season seeing it there. That pride in being able to contribute to the program in a small way is why this sits at number three.
2. This year I think the pink zone game meant a little more to the team and the fans. Coach Versyp has had a very good year beating a very bad disease. I liked the idea of making an in game portrait of her with all of the pink in the stands behind her. She has done well at Purdue, and it will be interesting to see what she does with all of the talent on her roster next season.
- Number one on these countdowns can be a hard choice. It was easy this year. This moment between Ukari Figgs and her son is one that I was lucky to capture. I went out onto the court a couple of hours before the game to make some photos of the shirts on the seats. I saw Figgs and her son playing ball and tried to make a couple photos of that. When I heard that she would get to see the bobblehead for the first time I made sure that I was in position to capture the moment. It was cool to see the son get excited about his mother being honored this way. These little moments are why I love doing what I do.
So there are my 18 favorite images from the 2017-2018 season. It is hard to believe that I only made it to four games this past season. The way that the schedule worked out that is all that I could get to. When I lived two hours away I never missed a game. I even followed them on the road. Now that I live ten minutes away I can’t get over there to see them. It is funny how things work out. Around the first of the year this bothered me a bit. I contemplated giving up the photography thing so that I could just be a fan again. I felt at times like I was missing out. Of course I love what I do way too much to give it up. That moment of doubt though helped me realize just how cool I have it. I have a couple of programs that believe in me, and they help me realize this dream of mine. As I put these ‘best of’ posts together I can’t help but think about how lucky I really am. Somedays I think that I will wake up from all of this and have to get back to work at the can plant.