WESTVILLE | Dating back to their days at Kouts High School, Kyle Mueller has always enjoyed playing alongside Brad Parks.
When Mueller decided to transfer to Purdue North Central from Calumet College last spring, he made sure that he gave Parks the hard sell to come along.
Teammates for the Mustangs and then the Crimson Wave, Mueller and Parks will team up again this season for PNC coach Kris Schnatz
"I knew at the end of the year that I wasn’t coming back to Calumet, and I knew that Brad wasn’t sure what he was going to do," Mueller said. "I was really getting on him to come and play. He's a great post player, and I really tried to push him for the team.”
Parks met with Schnatz for a workout over the summer and immediately fell in love with the Panthers. The chance to transfer with a former teammate only cemented Parks' decision.
"I've played with Kyle since my freshman year of high school," Parks said. "It was a lot easier for us to meet the guys on the team together."
Neither Parks nor Mueller spent much time talking about their experience at Calumet, only to say that they didn't fit in to the Crimson Wave style or system. Calumet's loss is ultimately proving to be Schnatz's gain, and the fourth-year coach couldn't be happier.
"Both guys gave me a call, and we met with them and gave them an opportunity to play," Schnatz said. "I'm extremely happy with their work ethic. Brad will be our starting center, and Kyle is definitely going to contribute as one of our guards."
Parks will play a different role with the Panthers this season than he has ever played before. When he played at Kouts, Parks lined up alongside big man Morgan Drazer and then played with another post player at Calumet. At PNC, Parks will be the lone big man on the floor in a four-guard set, but Mueller thinks that will play to his teammates' advantage.
"Brad likes to step outside and knock down the 3-ball from time to time," Mueller said. "As a guard, I’m excited that we'll have the chance to pull the trigger from the outside."
The Panthers will tip off their season Saturday against Silver Lake, but the former Kouts teammates are already looking forward to their Dec. 22 matchup against the Crimson Wave.
"I still talk to a few of the guys on the team, and it will be fun to play them," Parks said. "They come to PNC first, and I’ll be looking forward to it."