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Zach Edey and 7 fun facts about the Purdue big man
Credit: © Alex Martin/Journal and Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK

Zach Edey and 7 fun facts about the Purdue big man

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (BVM) – Purdue Boilermakers star center Zach Edey is one of the most interesting players in the NCAA men’s March Madness basketball tournament. 

It’s well known that Edey is the tallest player in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. At 7-foot-4, he has one of the biggest wingspans (7 feet-10.5 inches) and hand sizes (9.75 inches) in college basketball. 

Check out these seven fun facts about Edey. 

Zach Edey’s size at birth even shocked doctors

“I was like two feet, 12 pounds, 11 ounces when I was born,” Edey told UPROXX. The average newborn weighs about seven pounds and 20 inches. 

“The first words from the doctor – ‘this baby never ends’ – and followed by ‘this kid’s head is huge,’” Edey’s mom Julia told On3.  

Edey was even nicknamed “Little Buddha” by his parents due to his weight. 

“When I was a little kid, I was so fat, my parents called me a little Buddha,” Edey told UPROXX.  

Zach Edey eats a ton of food 

At 7-foot-4, 300 pounds – Edey can easily eat up to 2,000 calories just for breakfast. 

[I eat] everything that I can get my hands on – can’t be too picky when you’re trying to feed a 7-4 body,” Edey told 1st Class Ticket. 

When Edey’s mother, Julia, was asked by On3 about Zach’s food bill, she responded, “I’m traumatized. That was my joke – it was very nice getting the scholarship, but it was the grocery bill where I was, ‘Yes, that’s over.’”  

“There was one time we went out [for sushi] and I told [Zach] to sit down and order what you want. We left and I just paid $110 for lunch. It was ridiculous,” Julia noted about Zach’s eating habits. 

Zach Edey’s interests outside of basketball 

Edey is majoring in organizational leadership at Purdue. He has a dream of starting a business someday. 

“Other than basketball, I’ve always wanted to start a business,” Edey said on the Braggs In The Stands podcast. “Probably a food spot. [Zach Edey’s Sushi] is a good idea.”  

Zach Edey’s has difficulties making NIL money 

Thanks to his $810,000 NIL valuation, Edey ranks as one of the top 10 most marketable college basketball players. 

Edey, who was born in Canada, is able to live temporarily in America thanks to his F-1 visa. However, because of the student visa restrictions, he can’t profit from his name, image and likeness on U.S. soil. 

This is why Edey takes every opportunity to make money in Canada. He booked an NIL deal with Daps (for collectibles) during the Boilermakers’ trip to Toronto in December.

Zach Edey defied expectations

Edey didn’t start playing basketball until halfway through his 10th-grade year – when he was already 16 years old. It’s a huge reason why he was only ranked as the No. 436 recruit in the country by 247 Sports Composite. 

[Edey] was kind of an afterthought,” Brian Nash, IMG’s current vice president of athletics, told On3. “He wasn’t the main reason [college coaches] were coming here. If they came to practice and they saw him, they would say, ‘Tell me about this kid.’ They weren’t knocking the door down.”

Zach Edey’s pregame ritual 

Edey claims that he’s very superstitious, which is why he has a very consistent pregame ritual. 

“The way I get ready for games is the exact same,” Edey told UPROXX. “I’ll take a nap. I’ll go to the gym. I’ll warm up. Every day after practice, basically since freshman year, I’ve stayed after and shot 200 hook shots every day. It kind of helps me get my touch.” 

Additionally, Edey eats sushi the night before every single game. He’ll also eat two Honey Stingers and some energy chews right before stepping onto the court. 

Zach Edey’s travel must-haves 

Edey likes to have consistency when he’s on the road. He uses the same pillow and duffle bag everywhere he goes. 

“I have one pillow that I’ve always had,” Edey told UPROXX. “I’ll take it for road games, I’ll take it when I’m here. I’ve had that thing probably for six or seven years. It’s just comfy, I dunno, I broke it in a certain way. When you’re in those hotels, those pillows can be unpredictable, so that really helps. 

“I have one bag I always use. Not for any reasons, I just like it. There’s this duffel bag I got my freshman year, we did one tournament, we played Liberty and we played Clemson in it. My freshman year, it was our first two games and we got that duffle for it. And I just use it ever since just cause I like it. I’ll bring it back to Canada, bring it to road games, everything.”