Whenever snow settled on the tiny town of Sweetser, Courtney Moses took to her driveway with a shovel in one mittened hand and a basketball in the other.
Along withby her father and brother on an outdoor basketball hoop, Moses would hone her skills no matter what Mother Nature decided to send her way.
"Ever since I've been little, I've loved to shoot free throws," Moses said. "I find it really relaxing. I put some music on and shoot 100 free throws every single day."
Moses set a Purdue record and longest streak in the NCAA last season with 47 consecutive made free throws. She also set an NCAA Tournament record with nine 3-pointers against South Dakota State.
This season, however, Moses has blossomed into both a statistical and locker-room leader for the Boilermakers. She leads the team with 13.3 points per game and shoots 92.6 percent from the free-throw line.
"She just found different ways to score the basketball," Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. "She's got to be able to get to the foul line, get a 15-foot jumper and be able to elevate and shoot over people that are taller than her."
Moses was a key cog in Purdue's recent success of winning its second consecutive Big Ten Conference Tournament, routing Michigan State 62-47 in the championship game. She scored 16 points, including a 6-for-9 effort from the field in front of her parents, brother, sister-in-law, two uncles and three aunts who all made the trip to the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
"It means so much, especially whenever you win a championship," Moses said. "You're not celebrating it with just your team, you're celebrating with your family and friends who have been there through ups and downs."
Purdue will find out its opponent and seed today. While the Boilermakers are no stranger to NCAA Tournament appearances, there is extra incentive for Moses and the Boilermakers to have a strong showing, as director of women's basketball operations Terry Kix continues her battle with stomach cancer. Kix was on the bench when Purdue won the Big Ten Tournament and had her last chemotherapy treatment the next day.
"She inspires us and in return we inspire her," Moses said. "Not very many people battling cancer have a team that they can be around and give them that encouragement."