WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — "Oh man, I probably wouldn't believe you." That was Grady Eifert's response when Sports 18 asked if he ever imagined being in the starting lineup at Purdue. It really is a journey every walk-on dreams of.
"They told me you know, my parents especially, if you keep working this hard that good things are going to come, and it ended up happening that way," said Eifert.
After following in his father Greg's footsteps and walking on at Purdue in 2015, the Fort Wayne native began his journey. That journey has reached highs that no one predicted.
"I just try to lead through my example. I've never really been a huge vocal leader, being a walk-on you're not going to really be chiming in that much."
Eifert's lead by example attitude has benefited the program in so many ways, and head coach Matt Painter rewarded him for it at the beginning of his senior season. It was a choice that many Boilermaker fans questioned.
"I've had a lot of people already apologize to me. I think the biggest thing was just to ignore that," said Eifert.
The tides have turned now. So much so that fans at Mackey Arena chanted "MVP!" at Eifert on several occasions.
"The MVP chant was a littler nerve racking."
So from walk-on to the MVP of Mackey Arena, Eifert will leave West Lafayette a two-time Big Ten champion. But he says there is still one item left to check off the list.
"I think anyone would say you know, they believe they can go to a final four, so it starts with belief."
Team success, it starts with belief, just like Eifert's career at Purdue did.