LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — “Well obviously finding out it’s all canceled, it’s a really hard hit for us knowing the season is over, but then a couple days later, you realize life goes on,” said Purdue basketball center Matt Haarms.
The 7-foot-3 junior spends most of his days swatting basketballs, but when the Boilermaker found some unexpected free time this March, he decided he’d spend it the best way he knew how. While the rest of the athletes headed home for the extended off-season, Haarms stayed put. He knew he had some four-legged friends counting on him.
“I really didn’t have anywhere better to be and I really enjoy being here. Basically every day off during the season, I’m here anyways, so right now, I figured … right now, especially with no students here, there aren’t a lot of people helping out around here,” said Haarms.
Haarms has been a volunteer at Natalie’s Second Chance Dog Shelter in Lafayette for several months now, where he’s found a home away from Mackey Arena.
“I’ve had games where we’ve lost and it’s a 7 p.m. game and the next morning at 8 a.m., I’m here. It’s nice to take your mind off of things and just focus on letting this dog be a dog,” Haarms added, “It’s really nice to come down from all of the basketball stuff and the stress and just forget about it all.”
Haarms encourages anyone interested in donating or adopting to learn more here.