Heldt hearing from Purdue

Rising big man Matt Heldt has received Purdue interest. After a critical win for his Wisconsin Playground Warriors team, the center spoke about his recruitment with Boiler Sports Report.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Back in the spring, the Wisconsin Playground Warriors received their greatest challenge yet from a talented Indiana Elite team. They were overmatched by top prospects like Jalen Coleman and Hyron Edwards.

When the two teams met again in the 16U bracket at the Adidas Invitational, the loss was on the Warriors' minds. With big man Matt Heldt leading the charge, they knocked off the hosts.

"This was kind of payback," said Heldt after the win. "We really wanted to win this one."

For the rising junior center, this was the biggest stage he has played on yet. His team didn't receive much exposure during the spring, so the tournament in Indianapolis provided an important opportunity.

With college coaches lining the baseline, Heldt delivered a strong performance. He was imposing with his 6-foot-10 frame, blocking shots and pulling down rebounds.

"The first tournament back, we're playing really well as a team," Heldt said. "It feels pretty good."

With more showings like that one, Heldt is bound to see his recruitment pick up. He currently holds offers from Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Illinois and Toledo. The interest has begun to come in from major-conference schools, too, with Purdue, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Marquette, Michigan State and Wisconsin all giving strong consideration.

The Boilermakers entered the mix recently with associate head coach Jack Owens leading his recruitment. Purdue has had coaches scouting Hedlt's games throughout the tournament in Indianapolis.

Owens has found a strong selling point which caught Heldt's attention.

"They're really pressing the academic part," Heldt said of Purdue. "If I go there, I wouldn't be sacrificing a good education to play on a good basketball team."

Heldt has done a bit of research on his own, asking those connected for impressions on Purdue head coach Matt Painter.

"I hear that he's very disciplined; a very good academic leader," he said. "They don't sacrifice academics and have a good team. That means a lot, because I want to play with guys who put forth the academic effort as well as the basketball effort."

If Heldt and his team continue their strong play, he'll have many more options on the table.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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