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August 22, 2013
Brandon Brantley's been working toward breaking into coaching since the day his decade-long professional playing career ended in 2007.
That the former Boilermaker center is getting his chance now, at his alma mater, no less, is an opportunity he'll do everything in his power to make the most of, he says.
"It's extremely special," Brantley said of breaking into coaching, during one of his first days on the job in the Boilermaker basketball offices. "To be able to do it at Purdue, nothing beats that."
A three-time Big Ten champion at Purdue in the '90s, Brantley was a key figure on some of Gene Keady's best teams, a player who was never the biggest or most physically imposing post presence, but one who never backed down from anyone, a mentality he'll look to reinforce with Purdue big men A.J. Hammons and Jay Simpson, two players of critical importance to Purdue in the near and long terms, along with the program's other big men.
"We've got a couple guys with some tremendous size and skill sets and athletic ability," Brantley said. "I wish I was that big, but I wasn't. So the one thing I'll tell those guys is when I played center here, I think the heaviest I was was 215 (pounds). I was giving up a lot of weight every night.
"The thing I did learn while I was here was to battle. You know, it's not the size of the dog, it's the size of the fight in the dog. If those guys pick up on that, we will have a great tandem with those guys out there."
For much more from Brantley, check out our full-length video interview below.
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