By Elena Shklyar
On Thursday afternoon at the Barclays Center, Foster Loyer took off his black and red Davidson jersey after playing in the final game of his decorated five-year-long college basketball career.
On Friday morning at the United Center, Fletcher Loyer suited up in his No. 2 Purdue jersey to play in his first collegiate postseason game.
While one brother saw his college career come to an end, the other saw a promising beginning. And their father, John Loyer, watched on with pride as he got to see his sons shine on the big stage.
“It’s been an incredible experience and the thrill of a lifetime,” John Loyer said. “To see two guys work at the game they love on a daily basis and fulfill a dream of playing major college basketball is special.”
John Loyer is no stranger to basketball, having played college hoops at the University of Akron and continued his career as a coach and now an NBA scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.
“We’ve had the opportunity to grow up in a competitive basketball family and have really taken advantage of getting to be around the game and learn so much at an early age,” Foster said. “We have put in consistent work and hours upon hours at the gym trying to perfect our craft.”
Fletcher is only a freshman but plays impactful minutes as a starter for the Purdue Boilermakers, the top-seeded team in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.
Back in 2019, the last time Chicago’s United Center hosted the Big Ten men’s tournament, Foster was a freshman on Michigan State’s men’s basketball team when it was the No. 1 seed.
“Obviously the Big Ten tournament was a memorable weekend for me and the team in 2019,” Foster said. “It was so awesome to be able to help our team accomplish one of the goals we set out at the beginning of the year and support each other the way we did.”
Foster finished off his college career at Davidson for two seasons after playing at Michigan State for the first three. He ended his career with a decorated trophy shelf, collecting loads of accolades such as a two-time Big Ten regular season championship, a Big Ten Tournament championship, a Final Four appearance and an Atlantic 10 regular season championship.
Following Foster’s final game Thursday, Fletcher showed some brotherly love and tweeted out a sentimental tweet about his brother’s basketball career.
Fletcher was named honorable mention All-Big Ten following an impressive regular season debut, ranking fourth among the Big Ten’s freshmen in scoring, with 11.6 points per game, and 3-pointers made, with 54.
Fletcher has already etched himself into the Purdue record books when he was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after scoring 27 points against Nebraska in mid-January. He is the first Purdue freshman since 2008 to earn the honor, and his six 3-pointers in that game were the most by a Purdue freshman in program history.
“Fletcher has had an unbelievable freshman year. He just has a knack for creating his own shot, playing downhill, and he loves the big moments,” Foster said.
If history repeats itself for the Loyers, Fletcher may end up a Big Ten Tournament champion at the end of this weekend, just like his big brother Foster.
Elena Shklyar is a sports media graduate student at Medill. You can connect her on Twitter and LinkedIn.