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Nairn excited for new gig as Sunrise postgrad head coach

Tum Tum Nairn will coach Sunrise Christian’s postgraduate team for players who haven’t committed to play college basketball
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 2:08 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A former Michigan State star is going back to where it all began to continue his basketball career.

Tum tum Nairn has been hired to coach at Sunrise Christian, where he played in his way into a scholarship offer from the Spartans.

“For so many years, people were telling me I could be a great coach,” Nairn told News 10. “I just never saw it that way.”

That all changed when Sunrise Christian reached out to him a couple of years ago.

And when that year didn’t work, they tried again the next season.

They just had to have him.

“When you have an opportunity to bring family back, you always do that,” said Luke Barnwell, the head coach of the undergraduate team, and Nairn’s coach his senior year. “I’ve been here for 8 years, and I haven’t been around a leader like Tum since he’s been here.”

Tum tum says he mulled it over with his family, pastors and coach Tom Izzo, whose program shares a lot of similarities.

“For me to come back to where I played, it shows that sunrise was all about family,” Nairn said. “For me to go back to Michigan State shows that Michigan State was all about family.”

That family mentality will stay with Tum Tum, even in his new career as a the post-grad head coach for players who haven’t committed to a college yet.

“I want to take that to sunrise, spending time with my players, trying to be in their lives in a positive way,” he said. “I care more about them as a person than I care about them as a basketball player...I need to take more time to really look and see where a kid is from, where a kid is going through.”

He says he’s excited to get started.

“My goal is to empty my cup every day. Push them as best as I can, work with them as best as I can, and to learn,” Nairn said. “How successful will I be? I don’t know. I’m just going to take it one day at a time.

He’s glad he’ll always have help and support back in East Lansing.

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