Tom Izzo's son, Steven, suits up for last home game at Michigan State in 53-49 win over Northwestern

Wed, Mar 6, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Tom Izzo's son, Steven, suits up for last home game at Michigan State in 53-49 win over Northwestern

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Steven Izzo, son of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, suited up in a home uniform at the Breslin Center for the last time in a 53-49 win over Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Like most of the games in his five-year career, the 5-foot-8, 150-pound guard didn't get off the bench unless he was standing to cheer.

"I didn't care," Steven Izzo said after taking a slew of pictures with friends and family in front of his framed jersey. "I just wanted to win."

The Spartans (18-12, 10-9 Big Ten) earned a much-needed victory to boost their chances of playing in a 26th straight NCAA Tournament with a quality win against the Wildcats (20-9, 11-8) after trailing by eight points in the first half.

"I didn't enjoy it much because we needed to win so bad," Izzo said on the court after the game. "It was an emotional day. (Northwestern coach) Chris Collins said, `I've been with my dad. I have my son here as a manager. Just do me a favor and enjoy the night with your kid.' That's class."

Michigan State seniors Tyson Walker, A.J. Hoggard, Malik Hall and Mady Sissoko started while Steven Izzo and Davis Smith, son of former Spartan and NBA star Steve Smith, didn't enter the closely contested game.

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All of them, from standouts to seldom-used reserves, were celebrated after the game.

"I've been through so many Senior Nights in my life, but this is the one that I will truly remember," Lupe Izzo said at halftime.

During the postgame ceremony, each senior kissed the school's logo at midcourt to continue a tradition Shawn Respert started in 1995.

"It's something I looked forward to my whole life, and it made it worth it," Steven Izzo said.

Steven Thomas Mateen Izzo was born in West Virginia in 2000, a couple months after Izzo led Michigan State to a national title, and was adopted shortly thereafter by Tom and Lupe Izzo thanks to an assist from friend and former Spartans football coach Nick Saban.

Steven grew up around the program and went on some recruiting trips with his father, including one in 2012 to Chicago, to spend more time with him.

After being on the basketball team at Lansing Catholic High School, his father wanted him to walk on to make up for some lost time.

"He always made me part of the team and program, being a manager, essentially, when I was in middle and high school," Steven Izzo said. "Some of my earliest memories are being in the locker room after wins at home and the players throwing me in the laundry basket and messing with me like I was a younger brother."

Steven Izzo didn't play much, but he had one of the highlights of an uneven season.

After appearing in 43 games over five seasons, his high-arching floater bounced on the rim and fell through while drawing a foul in the final minute of a win over Rutgers that drew one of the loudest roars of the year at Breslin Center.

He averaged 0.4 points per game, tied for last on the team with Nick Sanders, son of Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, and half a rebound in eight games this season.

"I'm really happy that he's gotten to spend this time with our dad that we didn't when we were younger," his sister, Raquel Izzo McDonald, said. "I got a little bit from working in the office when I was in school here, but he got it on another level.

"I'm just so happy for both of them."

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