Merry Christmas! If you’ve read Hammer and Rails for awhile, you know two things about me as an author:
- I rarely write articles anymore.
- When I do, they’re sometimes very silly.
That’s it, that’s the intro to this article. So, without further ado, here is each current Purdue basketball player as a present my son is getting this Christmas (don’t worry he is too young to read this so no spoilers).
Matt Haarms: Captain America Motorcycle Set by Marvel Toybox
My son loves Marvel (mostly due to my influence and my wife’s chagrin), so that will be a theme here. Haarms is both a reliable player and one of the flashiest guys on the team. This Cap set is a reliable present cause he is one of my son’s favorites, but it is flashy as well due to having a talking motorcycle and a figure of Indiana’s own metal-armed Avenger, Bucky Barnes.
Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr.: Captain America Shield with sound effects
The kid already has a shield, and he absolutely loves it, but this one is a step up with movie-inspired sound effects and recorded phrases to play. Purdue already had Sasha and Hunter, and we love them, but this season they’ve shown flashes of new abilities and are going from accessory to the featured toys.
Trevion Williams: 5-Minute Marvel Stories
We already have a copy of 5-Minute Avengers Stories and my son loves reading them before bed. This book is obviously very similar, but is still unique and provides new stories he’ll love. When Trevion arrived, the comparisons to Caleb Swanigan were many, but he has established himself as his own player with his own legacy, even if some of his game is similar.
Jahaad Proctor: Amazon Fire Tablet Kids Edition
My parents bought him this tablet, and while I’ve never seen him play with a tablet before, I know that other families have had great success with these tablets. As a grad transfer, we know Proctor had success at High Point, and expect him to find similar success with Purdue.
Evan Boudreaux: Wolverine Action Figure by Marvel Toybox
Wolverine wasn’t always an Avenger in the comics, and his movie rights just recently joined the rest of Marvel’s lineup over at Disney, allowing this action figure from the Disney Store. Similarly, EBo wasn’t always a Boiler, but he’s now established himself as part of the team and culture.
Isaiah Thompson: Phoenix Build-A-Bear
Phoenix Bear is a gift from my brother, and while my son has had Marvel-inspired Build-A-Bears before, this one is unique and brings a little extra fire, literally (her fur has a fire pattern). In the same way, we all loved PJ Thompson and hope IT can eventually bring the same kind of reliability that his brother had, but we already know his game has a bit more flash and fire to it.
Nojel Eastern: Pokemon Charmander in Pokeball toy
So this toy doesn’t really follow the mold of the others, it isn’t Marvel-related, but it is still sure to be a favorite of my son’s. Personally, I’m probably the biggest Nojel fan at H&R. He doesn’t fit a traditional role, a bit of a point forward and a defensive monster, but he’s still a great guy and a favorite of many.
Aaron Wheeler: Little People playset
The cool thing about this playset is that, like some of the other non-Marvel stuff my son has, he will likely play with it by itself, but also sometimes play with his Marvel stuff in tandem. Wheeler has the potential to be the focal point of our offense at times, but also can fit really well into other sets with his versatile skills. He also comes from farther away than most players on the roster, especially if you count high schools so that Haarms comes from Sunrise Academy and not the Netherlands, and this gift is coming from my mother-in-law who lives further away than my side of the family. (This may be a bit of a stretch, but the kid is only getting so many toys.)
Emmanuel Dowuona, Matt Frost, Jared Wulburn: Marvel Hot Wheels
Stocking stuffers, nothing better than those little extra things you get, they have potential to surprise become favorites. Guys without much playing time right now, they have potential to surprise become favorites, like Grady Eifert.
Tommy Luce: Christmas Candy
The cherry on top, a true fan favorite, those sweets that make the day a little extra special, especially when you’re a toddler. I can’t think of a better analogy for a guy who has been called “The Human Victory Cigar”.
Brandon Newman and Mason Gillis: Those presents I’m gonna buy in the middle of the year and save for next Christmas
That’s the best analogy I can find for redshirting, that or the pre-order gift my parents bought me that I’m super excited for, it a Aztec/Luchador-inspired Wolverine statue and something I’d never buy myself, but it is absolutely awesome.
That’s it, that’s the end, get out of here and enjoy the holiday now.