It’s time to put away the pitchforks, stop the gnashing of teeth, and let go of your existential Purdue dread for a moment.
Today we’re celebrating the Purdue career of graduating Senior Matt Frost.
#21 - Matt Frost - 6’5”, 200 - Columbus, Indiana
Purdue Career: 2019-2023
*Bio Info via https://purduesports.com/sports/mens-basketball/roster/matt-frost/11487
Matt arrived to Purdue in 2019 as a walk-on from Columbus, East High School in Columbus, Indiana. He was a multi-talented performer for the Olympians, averaging 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal a game as a senior. Subsequently, he was named The Republic Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2019, and secured a spot on the first-team All-Conference team. He also helped lead his team to either a Hoosier Hills Conference or sectional title during his first 3 years at Columbus East, and earned a letter every year in high school. To sum it up, dude was a straight baller.
Frost wasn’t just a menace on the court. When he wasn’t cracking heads while pulling down boards, he was cracking books and pulling down A’s in the classroom. As a senior he was named to the first-team Academic All-State team, and was a member of the National Honor Society.
How did he end up as a walk-on at Purdue instead of taking his talents to a small school and continuing his on and off-court domination? One word: Family. Matt’s family tree is thick with Boilermakers, including 11 alums. His older brother Kyle (now a Purdue grad as well) made the trip from Columbus to West Lafayette first, and Matt followed his path. It’s rumored his floor burns leave streaks of gold and black on the practice gym floor.
Guys, I don’t think some people understand how good D1 (or whatever we call it these days) walk-ons are, and how much dedication it takes. Putt Matt in an open gym and he would never leave the court. He’s a 6’5” assassin capable of scoring on all 3 levels. If you’ve ever been dunked on at the rec center, guys like Matt are responsible. Instead of simply dominating intra-murals and collecting his Industrial Management degree, Frost decided to do things the hard way. He decided to walk-on for Matt Painter and the Boilermakers.
Imagine doing everything a scholarship basketball player does, from early morning weights, and conditioning, to late night cram sessions after getting back from Wisconsin on a random Wednesday night in January. Now imagine you do all of that, fully knowing that if you’re lucky, you’ll be lucky to play 5 minutes over the course of a season. Meanwhile at practice, Jaden Ivey is dunking on your head and you’re catching stray elbows from Zach Edey and Mason Gillis. That’s an astounding level of dedication to your university, basketball and your teammates. His job was to make other players better in practice, and Purdue was a better team because of him.
Walk-Ons like Matt are vital to the success of the program. You see a guy like Matt Frost grinding every day, knowing he’s not going to play, and it’s hard not to follow. They bring leadership at practice and off the court. When a guys having a bad game, they pick them up, and when things go well, they’re the first off the bench celebrating.
Matt Frost vs Wright State
I would be remiss if I didn’t include one frosty cold highlight from his time at Purdue.
There’s 28 seconds left in the game, and Matt is still battling for offensive boards. Look at him sky to pull the ball down in traffic.
After hanging in the air for what seemed like minutes, Frost lands and goes straight back up with no regard for the Wright State defender. A true technician, he goes glass, feathering the ball off the backboard at the perfect angle.
And there’s another 2 points on the board for the good guys.
Don’t think that’s impressive? How many points have you scored in Mackey Arena?
Thanks for all the hard work and dedication Matt. You truly bleed Black and Gold.