Friday, December 9, 2022

Hundreds rally at Breslin to show support for Izzo

June 10, 2010

Williamston High School students Max Bommarito, left, and Katie Peiffer, right, sign a poster for MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo. The rally was announced Thursday morning via social networking websites, attracting the attention of hundreds who came out to cheer, sing, and show Izzo their appreciation.

Photo by Matt Hallowell | The State News

MSU men’s basketball player Derrick Nix spoke to a crowd of several hundred Spartan fans Thursday night, the same day MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo visited the Cleveland Cavaliers to talk with owner Dan Gilbert and other franchise officials.

Much like the students and alumni in attendence worried about Izzo’s future in East Lansing, Nix said he and his teammates share similar feelings.

“He hasn’t told us anything, we’re pretty much like everybody else out here,” he said.

When asked how he felt about the situation, Nix said he was nervous and scared.

The gathering, started by a message board statement, turned out much larger than expected, said Adam McKay, a communications junior who started the original thread on the website

“I’m honestly amazed this many people showed up,” he said. “I thought like 50 people would be here. It shows you the power of the Izzone.”

McKay said the point of the get-together was to show Izzo the university cares.

“I thought we could get people out here in support for keeping him at MSU,” McKay said. “It just shows you how quickly Spartan nation can come together.”

Izzo represents more than just the basketball team, advertising senior Eric Trout said.

“He’s a true ambassador to the university,” he said. “He’s the face of MSU.”

Despite feeling sad, Trout said he would understand if Izzo left for the NBA.

“He’s always said he’d like to pursue a bigger challenge like the NBA,” Trout said. “Obviously this university and community mean a lot to him and it would be sad.

Members of the Spartan Brass were in attendance led by alumnus Steve Book.

“I wanted to make sure we did everything possible to make sure he would stay,” he said. “He’s more than a coach, more than just a sports figure, he means everything to this state.”

Nix, who was driving by and saw the crowd outside Breslin, wanted to show his love for the supportive Spartan nation.

Izzo was one of the main reasons he chose MSU, Nix said.

Nix said the crowd would have persuaded him to stay if he were in Izzo’s shoes, but he said that he and fellow players are giving Izzo his space.

“We haven’t been messing with him,” he said. “We’ve just been staying away, trying to let him do his business.”

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