Ex-NBA player, Brian Cardinal, reflects on internship

Memphis Grizzlies v Chicago BullsBrian Cardinal and his wife Danielle walked away from an internship with the John Purdue Club in 2011, planning to accept full-time positions with the group once his playing days were over.

After the 2011-12 NBA season, the 12th of his career, Brian realized it was time to start the next chapter in his life.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to be back at Purdue working for the John Purdue Club,” Brian said. “We had an awesome opportunity, both receiving scholarships. For Danielle and I, this is where it started and where we wanted to come back to.”

Brian is working in a variety of capacities with the group: fundraising, bringing awareness to the club and motivating people to get involved. Brian said he plans to get involved with the community in a variety of different aspects in the coming months as well.

Associate athletic director Nancy Cross, who oversees the John Purdue Club, said Brian has met with people, inspired people to increase their donation level and persuaded former teammates to join the John Purdue Club.

“In his celebrity status, he’s unbelievably gracious, which makes him approachable by donors,” Cross said. “Once he gets their attention, he’s doing a fabulous job making sure they understand how athletics are funded. When we ask people to invest in our student-athletes with a product like a Brian Cardinal, that tells people that their adjustment is certainly worth it.”

The Tolono, Ill., native, who fans have discussed as a popular choice for the next opening that becomes available on the Purdue men’s basketball staff, expressed his interest in mentoring student-athletes and sharing his experiences with them.

“Professional sports are a whole other beast of itself,” Brian said. “The more education I can bring to the student-athletes, I think the better served that they will be once they have that opportunity to take the next step.”

Brian said he loves being back in West Lafayette with his position – it gives him the flexibility to spend more time with his three children, ages 6, 4 and 2 – but he wouldn’t dismiss coaching, broadcasting or different roles within the University in the future.

“Who knows what the big picture is?” Brian said. “I know I don’t. If you were to ask me 12 years ago if I would have had a 12-year career in the NBA, I would have said you were crazy … For all intents and purposes, this is exactly where I want to be and I’m having a blast.”

Cardinal played in 456 NBA games (37 started), averaging 4.6 ppg and 2.3 rpg in 14.2 minutes of playing time.


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