Morris Peterson Selected to Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

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East Lansing, Mich. – Former Michigan State men’s basketball All-American Morris Peterson was one of 10 people selected to be part of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019 on Tuesday night.
Peterson was selected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in the amateur category, joined by former Michigan football star Charles Woodson, Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt and former Michigan basketball standout Diane Dietz. Grant Hill, a former Detroit Pistons star, and ex-Detroit Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov will be inducted as professionals. Clarkston basketball coach Dan Fife and sports executive Tom Wilson were elected. Harry Atkins, a former sports writer for The Associated Press, and sports writer Mike O’Hara were elected in the
“This is a great honor for Morris and he is certainly worthy of being recognized as a Hall of Famer in Michigan,” Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo said. “He and Antonio Smith were among my first recruits and they helped to build our program. Morris is a tremendous success story and someone who has continued to stay in touch ever since he graduated. Morris took a chance on me in coming here and excelled in every way, winning a national championship, winning three Big Ten Championships, becoming an All-American, while becoming the first non-starter to win the Big Ten Player of the Year Award and graduating from Michigan State.
“He is one of the most selfless players I’ve ever coached and someone I still use as a reference point for all of my players. I’m thrilled for him on this tremendous honor.”
The Flint, Mich., native ranks 13th all-time at Michigan State in scoring with 1,588 points. He finished his career averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds and is among MSU's all-time leaders in 3-point field goals made (146) and attempted (387) and games started (137).
Peterson played just four games as a true freshman in 1995-96 before taking a medical redshirt due to a broken finger. He averaged 6.8 points as a redshirt freshman and 8.0 as a sophomore. During his sophomore season, Peterson fractured a bone in his right wrist and missed three games. When he returned, he was forced to play with a cast, dubbed "The Club," for a majority of the remainder of the season. The cast is credited with helping Peterson become a better all-around player.
His breakout season came as a junior in 1998-99. Despite just starting four of 38 games that season, Peterson became the first non-starter in Big Ten history to earn first-team all-conference honors as he led the Spartans in scoring at 13.6 points per game. Peterson was also named the Outstanding Player of the NCAA Midwest Regional as MSU advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1979.
Coming off that performance, Peterson had an explosive start to his senior year, leading the Spartans with 31 points in a win at No. 2 North Carolina despite All-American Mateen Cleaves missing the game with an injury. For the season, Peterson averaged 16.8 points and 6.0 rebounds, earning First-Team All-America honors from the Sporting News and the Wooden Award and second-team accolades from The Associated Press, NABC and USBWA. At the end of the conference season, he was voted Big Ten Player of the Year by the league's coaches. He was voted Most Outstanding Player of the 2000 Big Ten Tournament as the Spartans captured their second straight title. During MSU's run to the national title, he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional for the second straight year and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
Peterson was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 21st pick in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft. He spent seven seasons with the Raptors before playing three years with the New Orleans Hornets and his last season, in 2010-11, with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He is one of nine players in Spartan men’s basketball history to have his jersey retired.