WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s basketball team beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-70 on Thursday. It was a big win, but not the big story. Turns out, the big story of the night took place before the first point of the game was even scored.
Purdue super fan Tyler Trent, who died New Year’s Day after a long battle with cancer, was honored prior to tip-off
During warmups, players for both Purdue and Iowa wore shirts with Tyler’s name and the hashtag #TYLERSTRONG.
Shortly before tip-off a video featuring some of Tyler’s brightest moments was shown throughout Mackey arena. A standing ovation followed the video, and a moment of silence followed the ovation
“I think it’s what Purdue is all about. I think that it’s great that they’re giving back to him because he gave so much to the university and really to the nation,” student Levi Tragesser said.
Many fans at the game were spotted wearing shirts or jerseys bearing Tyler’s name or image. Some said even though they didn’t know him, they felt connected to Tyler through his love of the Boilermakers, and his advocacy for find a cure for cancer.
“He’s so above and beyond anything I could ever do or be. But I don’t know it’s like you’re linked together,” one fan said.
In the end, fans said Tyler will be remembered as an inspiration, the very best of the Boilermakers.
On January 9, a candle light vigil in Tyler’s honor will be held on Purdue’s Campus outside of Hovde Hall starting at 6 p.m.