EAST LANSING — Tom Izzo is taking his Michigan State basketballThis weekend, the Detroit team is well ahead of Oakland’s game.
It was partly for team bonding and partly to let off steam after finals week. They are also trying to protect them against the coronavirus epidemic that has erupted after several college basketball games were cancelled.
“I know we’re all vaccinated. I know we got the best chance to stay healthy,”After practice Friday, Izzo stated. “We’ll do our part, and I hope everybody else does theirs.”
Tom Izzo, Michigan State Spartans’ head coach, is on the bench during Saturday’s action against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Breslin center.
Part of Izzo’s plan was going together to Sunday night’s game at Little Caesars Arena between the Pistons and Miami Heat, work out Monday at the Pistons’ practice facility and then take in the Red Wings-Colorado Avalanche game at LCA. The Spartans’ game against the Golden Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the same building.
But The Wings-Avs match was postponedIzzo finished his interview on Friday not long after. Colorado’s season was paused due to COVID-19 issuesDetroit also has protocol players. The NFL also announced three postponements.
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This week, college hoops games across the country were cancelled. These included the Ohio State vs. Kentucky game in Las Vegas, Penn State against Virginia Commonwealth, Northwestern vs. DePaul, and UCLA vs. North Carolina. All of which spoke to Izzo’s continued concern about the coronavirus and the sports world.
“They’re starting to cancel other things,”He said it, stopping short of making another public service announcement. “Wake up, America, let’s get after it, because I want my guys to play all 31 games.”
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is seen with Steve Mariucci, former Detroit Lions coach, as they arrive at the Final Four against Texas Tech at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Saturday, April 06th 2019.
Izzo went to the Upper Peninsula on Tuesday and Thursday to celebrate the grand opening at the Mariucci Family Beacon House.
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According to the website of Beacon House This original opening was in 1990. The facility is “a donation-based organization, and strives to serve all those in need with dignity and respect, and without judgment, ensuring that no guest ever feels unwelcome due to income or financial situation.”Its mission? “to provide compassionate and supportive services with a safe, affordable, place to stay for patients, families, loved ones and caregivers in times of medical crisis when home is too far away.”
Izzo, who was part of the initial planning meetings, and funding for the project that began three year ago, said that being able visit his college campus in Northern Michigan and spend some time watching Mariucci perform something so important helped to put things into perspective for the Iron Mountain natives.
“You lose perspective. I always said when we had our golf outing (in Iron Mountain), it was your back to reality,”He said. “It brings you back to who you are and what you are. … To get a chance to go up there, it just worked out. It was so cool, because he’s at all my Final Fours, he’s at all my NCAA tournament games, he comes to the Big Ten tournament. And I don’t get to do as much except watch him on the NFL Network.”
It was evident that Izzo felt pride when he saw his friend helping others in the Upper Peninsula.
“Watching him give his speech and what it meant to him, it was the most passionate and most tear-jerking deal, knowing the people in the UP, knowing we don’t have hospitals on every corner there like we do down here,”Mariucci was the subject of Izzo’s statement. “It was heart-warming. I would’ve given up anything to be there, and I almost didn’t go. And I’m happy I did, I’m happy for him, I’m happy for the people up there. You just kind of appreciate where you are from and what it was like. And maybe I appreciate here a little bit more than I used to.”
This article was originally published on Detroit Free Press Michigan State’s Tom Izzo tries to keep players safe from the COVID scare