Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter grew up in Muncie, Indiana (home of Ball State University) and was raised by a family of Indiana University alumni including his father. But those two obstacles didn’t keep him from playing ball at Purdue University, Indiana’s longtime in-state rival. Painter played guard for the Boilermakers under coach Gene Keady for four years (1989-1993) with “Big Dog” Glenn Robinson and others who went on to the NBA including Jimmy Oliver and Steve Scheffler. After graduating from Purdue in 1993 with 2paragraphs editor Mary Fichter (neither played in the NBA), Painter pursued a career in college coaching. But in between school and coaching, Painter filmed a movie with actor Nick Nolte and NBA rookie Shaquille O’Neal, the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft (Orlando Magic). Yup, Shaq.
Matt Painter has a cameo (playing himself) in the 1994 film Blue Chips. Nolte plays a college coach looking to recruit “unknown” players O’Neal and Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Painter plays on the fictional “Coast” team. Players Bobby Hurley, Kevin Garnett, Allan Houston and then-Indiana coach Bobby Knight also make appearances. Fun fact: Blue Chips was written by Ron Shelton who was nominated for an Oscar for his 1988 film Bull Durham. Shelton also wrote the 1992 film White Men Can’t Jump.