Izzo welcomes former players during ‘Grind Week’ at MSU

It's not just football at MSU this weekend. It's called ‘Grind Week’ for the men's basketball program and head coach Tom Izzo hosted a number of former players.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 1:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 1:48 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s not just football at Michigan State University this weekend.

It’s called ‘Grind Week’ for the MSU men’s basketball program. Head coach Tom Izzo hosted several former players who are back on campus.

“When I stood up there yesterday and looked down and saw all the guys back and watching them play, guys like Kalin Lucas who hasn’t been back for a while - watching (him) play, no wonder I won a lot of games,” Izzo said. “Seeing all those guys and seeing them interact with our guys here - it’s been special.”

Part of the ‘Grind Week activities include a free basketball clinic for area youngsters with the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing, held at the Breslin Center and sponsored by HAP CareSource.

“Dr. Mike Genord and HAP CareSource have been very instrumental in us being able to get this going again,” Izzo said. “To partner with somebody like them has been great for us. For our former players who came back, that means the world to me. And for our current players to learn how to do some things in our community, it’s kind of a win, a win, a win, and that doesn’t happen all the time.”

News 10 found that for those former players who return, the weekend evokes fond memories of big games in the building, like those for Mateen Cleaves.

“It’s very important, it warms my heart to come back here and see all these things and all the former players, legends like Shawn Respert,” Cleaves, a member of the 2000 National Championship team said. “To be around the current 11 players, it’s really great and it reminds me of what a great decision back in 1996 – one of the best things I ever did in my life was come to Michigan State.”

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