Brock Purdy

Pacers guard Haliburton proud of ‘brother' Purdy's NFL success

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As the unofficial president of the Brock Purdy fan club, Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton took some time to praise his good friend and the 49ers quarterback Saturday night in Las Vegas.

After the Pacers' 123-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship at T-Mobile Arena, Haliburton was asked about the coinciding rise of himself and Purdy -- both Iowa State alumni -- as respective NBA and NFL athletes.

"Yeah me and Brock went to school together, came into school together," Haliburton said. "We both started as freshmen, and that's somebody that I could really call a friend. To see what he's doing and succeeding the way that he is, that's really cool to see especially being from Iowa State, where it's not a school that's expected to have this much success at the professional level in any sport. So it's cool to see my brother do well. From the moment that he started, I always was showing him nothing but love."

Purdy was selected by the 49ers with the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. By Week 13, he went from a third-string rookie to the starting quarterback after season-ending injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, and he led San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game before sustaining a torn UCL.

After a full recovery in the offseason, Purdy has picked up where he left off and is a top candidate for the NFL MVP award this season on a 9-3 49ers team.

The 49ers quarterback currently leads the league in multiple metrics, including completion percentage (70.2), passer rating (116.1), touchdown percentage (6.9), yards per attempt (9.6) and yards gained per completion (13.7) through 12 games this season.

Meanwhile, his fellow Cyclones alum also is thriving and shining bright in Indiana.

Haliburton has had a breakout season in his fourth NBA campaign, averaging a career-high 26.9 points on 52.5 percent shooting from the field and 44.1 percent from 3-point range, with 4.2 rebounds, a league-high 12.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.4 minutes through the first 18 games of the 2023-24 season.

"It was cool in college, [Iowa State] coach [Matt] Campbell, the football coach, we used to have leadership meetings., me, Brock and coach Campbell," Haliburton recalled. "And we had a book we used to read and we'd talk about different stuff. So that was cool. So just seeing him succeed and seeing what he's doing, it means a lot to me and to Iowa State fans in general to see us doing that.

"Hopefully it's a good recruiting tool for the Cyclones moving forward."

From Iowa State athletes to friends to leaders of their respective pro teams, Purdy and Haliburton have come up together -- and both are just getting started.

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