Friday, June 1, 2012

Where Are They Now - Gary Ware

The five months between Basketball and Football season can be kind of dull for Boilermaker fans.  Luckily for you, we're here to quench your thirst of all things Purdue by looking back at (and following up with) one of the worst teams in Purdue history - the 2005-2006 Men's Basketball team.

Past Where Are They Now Posts:
Part 1 - Matt Kiefer
Part 2 - Nate Minnoy
Part 3 - Korey Spates
Part 4 - Marcus White
Part 5 - Chris Lutz

So far, the “Where Are They Now Series” has focused mostly on newcomers to the Purdue basketball program.  In fact, Matt Kiefer is the only player out of the top 5 scorers on the 2005-06 basketball team with any prior Purdue experience.   Adding inexperience to the turmoil created by all these newcomers was one of the main reasons the Boilermakers experienced their worst year in decades.  Matt Kiefer may have been the senior everyone remembers on the team, however there was another big man that celebrated senior night with Matt.  Gary Ware is the subject of the sixth installment of’s “Where Are They Now – Worst Year Ever” series.

Gary Ware graduated from Detroit Finney High School in 2002 and spent two years at Dodge City Junior College.  During his second year at Dodge City, Gary averaged 12.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and nearly 2 blocks a game while being rated the 7th best junior college power forward in the country.  Just prior to that year, Gary committed to Purdue and joined the 2004-05 team with a frontcourt of Carl Landry and Matt Kiefer.

Gary played in 27 games for Purdue in his junior year, averaging a little over 4 points per game.  As a senior on the 05-06 team, Ware averaged 7.3 points per game, but really picked up his play in the second half of the Big Ten season.  In seven of the last ten games of the year, Ware scored in double digits and averaged over 20 points a game in his last 3 games as a student athlete – a great way to go out!  

Ware averaged around 17 minutes per game over his two year career at Purdue, yet that didn’t stop someone from making a 17 minute video of Gary Ware’s Purdue highlights.  It may cover every single basket Gary Ware scored in his 2-year Purdue career, so I definitely suggest you check out all 17 minutes of it…

After becoming only the second player in our series to graduate from Purdue, Gary Ware capitalized on his strong finish as a Boilermaker to earn a contract overseas in The Netherlands at Woon! Aris Leeuwarden.  Gary averaged 12.7 points and 8.4 rebounds in his first year overseas.  Unlike most of the other Purdue players who ended up overseas, Ware really took a liking to the international game.
In the 2007-08 season, Gary averaged 10.6 points and 9.1 rebounds for InterCollege Etha Engomis in Cyprus.  Ware then took his talents to Palatinus Beach where he put up the best numbers of his career with 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for Hungary's Debreceni Vadkakasok.  He then went to Cherno More of the Balkan League in 2009-2010 where he averaged 11.7 ppg.  
Ware in Austria

While Ware may not have ended up at four different colleges like his teammates Korey Spates and Nate Minnoy, Gary decided to make up for it by switching teams (and countries) nearly every year of his professional career.  2010-11 brought Gary to Austria to play for the Farstenfeld Panthers.  That year, he was a starter in the Bundesliga’s All-Star game alongside Northern Iowa’s NCAA hero, Ali Farokhmanesh.  

This past season, Gary played his second season for Farstenfeld where he averaged 16 points and 7.2 rebounds in 33 games.  Farstenfeld must have a pretty decent marketing budget, because they came up with a fantastic Gary Ware highlight video.  The 2-minute masterpiece includes Gary making 2 consecutive free throws (Ware averaged well under 60% on free throws at Purdue), so it is a must watch…

Gary just returned to the US this month for his summer break and seems destined to play for yet another team in the 2012-13 season.  However, you didn’t think we’d write one of these things without at least a little controversy, did you?  One of his teammates in Austria (Anthony Shavies from Missouri State) recently wrote a blog post detailing the last month of the season and wrote extensively about Ware: 

Quick note: I just got a call from my teammate JRob (Jeff Robinson), he’s still in Furstenfeld until tomorrow morning.  JRob told me that the team has informed another one of our teammates, Gary Ware, that they are keeping his last check because he did not inform them that he did not have a driving license when they issued him a team vehicle in August.  It’s really not funny, but I’m having a good chuckle at this. I’m sure Gary (who played under Cuonzo Martin at Purdue University) is steaming mad, I’ll list the reasons below: 
  • The team booked his flight for May 7th, two weeks after our season ended. Typically, the flights home are booked for departure 3-4 days after the last game.
  • Gary paid out of his own pocket to have his flight moved up to May 1st.
  • Gary missed his May 1st flight because the team had not paid him yet and he decided he wasn’t going to leave until he was paid.
  • Team informs him on May 3rd (after he had already missed his flight) he wasn’t going to be paid.
OK, should Gary have been driving without a license? No. However, the team found out in February that Gary did not have a license.  And they immediately confiscated the team issued car.  So why is he being punished twice for the same mistake? And how does this give them the right to not pay him? I have about as much a clue as you do right now. Another one of my teammates was fined 300€ (about $400) for not sharing his team car with other players on the team.  The thing about that is they never told him he was supposed to share his car.

Upon reading the rest of the article, it appears that NOBODY has gotten their last paycheck and Gary could be out of luck.  Still, it might be a good idea for Gary to get a license to drive in Europe considering he’s played over there for six years!

Gary’s had a successful post-college career and we hope he continues to represent Purdue well on the professional circuit.  We were unable to find a facebook, twitter, or linkedin page for Ware, so if anyone can find one, make sure to post it in the comments.  We’d love to tell him we’re rooting for him!

Of the six players featured so far, the top player coming out of high school (Nate Minnoy) is the only one to have not played professional basketball.  Although, would you have guessed that Chris Lutz and Gary Ware are the only two of those six still playing?

Stay tuned to all summer long as we continue our “Where Are They Now” series on the 2005-2006 men’s basketball team!

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