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Friday, December 19, 2014


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Izzone Campout signals start of basketball




By Greg Olsen / The State News

Basketball fans swarm Munn Field for their chance to be a member of the famous Izzone.



If you were to ask people to make a list of the best items needed for the Izzone Campout, their answer might lead you to believe they were sleeping somewhere other than Munn field.

“I have an umbrella on my back all the time,” mechanical engineering senior Kathleen Fitzsimons said. “You’ve got to have a tent, (and) you’ve got to have a sleeping bag, even though you’re not going to sleep that much.”

Fitzsimons was one of 1,800 individuals who took part in Friday’s Izzone Campout, a 24-hour event held each fall at Munn field to prepare students for the upcoming basketball season.

Despite enduring weather conditions, that included spurts of rain and temperatures in the mid-40s, current basketball season ticket holders gathered with the anxious hope of securing a spot in the cheering section: the Izzone.

“I just love hanging out here,” Fitzsimons said. “It gets me really pumped for the basketball season.”

Events throughout the day were hosted by MSU’s Student Alumni Foundation, or SAF, and included a basketball shooting contest, three-on-three tournament and a live disc jockey.

Although, for first-year attendees such as mechanical engineering sophomore Kyle Corey, the chances of landing one of the 1,400 available spots in the Izzone were slim; the campout represented an opportunity to bond with his fellow peers.

“We’re not really sure how we got (our tent) in, and it probably won’t stand for the rest of the night,” said Corey, who, along with physics sophomore Eric Goodwin, struggled to keep their main source of shelter from blowing over in the wind. “(But) there are a lot of people around, so hopefully they let us sleep in their tents.”

The event reached its peak at nightfall, when head coach Tom Izzo and members of the basketball team came out to address and thank the crowd.

Despite being a fun event for students, said Nicole Lycos, brand manager for MSU Live On, the campout also offered a great chance for members of the administration and athletics department to interact with their faithful supporters.

“I think it’s a good way to get us all together,” she said. “It’s a really fun event.”


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