MSU men's basketball Associate Head Coach Dwayne (D.J.) Stephens' father, Dwayne Stephens Sr., has died due to complications from COVID-19, Spartan Nation writer Hondo S. Carpenter reported on Friday afternoon.
MSU coach Tom Izzo shared the news in an interview with Spartan Nation on Friday. Izzo said the elder Stephens had contracted the virus a little over a week ago.
D.J. Stephens played for MSU from 1989-1993, when Izzo served as assistant coach. He is now in his 16th season as assistant coach and his seventh season as associate head coach for MSU.
"He was a great guy," Izzo said of the elder Stevens according to Spartan Nation. "Man, I have known him since I recruited D.J. He was a loyal guy, and you know it has been very hard on D.J. and his family. He has grandkids who are 5, 8 and 14. Those are kind of formidable years that you are just starting to build a relationship with your grandparents; you are old enough to figure out what that means."
D.J. Stephens has worked closely with the eight Spartans selected in the past seven NBA drafts.
"It sure did hit me, my staff, my team, the players, from Travis (Walton) to Gary Harris and Draymond (Green), Miles (Bridges), and Jaren (Jackson), all over have called and done a million texts,” Izzo said according to Spartan Nation. “I think we could all keep D.J.'s family in our prayers; it would be appreciated."