I’m pretty excited because tomorrow (Friday) night, I’m going to Madison Square Garden to watch Michigan State play Virginia in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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I’m going because my nephew/godson is on the MSU team; you’ll notice I didn’t say that he “plays” for MSU, because he really doesn’t unless it’s a blowout, but he is on the team and dresses for the games about half the time.

In high school, he was a good basketball player, but not a great one. He did get scholarship offers, but they were from smaller schools and since he aspires to be a physician like his father, he was pretty particular about where he went. He decided to attend Michigan State fully knowing that meant the end of his basketball career; after all, MSU, under Tom Izzo is one of the premier college basketball schools in the country with 6 Final Four appearances, and they hadn’t recruited him.

He was at peace with his decision and focused on his studies. Sometime during his freshman year word went around campus that the basketball team temporarily needed tall guys for practice, basically to “get in the way” during rebounding drills and such; since Trevor is 6’7”, so he answered the call. He performed so well that when the initial time period was up (I think it was two weeks), the coaches asked him to keep coming to practice and work out with the team. Things continued to go so well that they asked him to join the team, not on an athletic scholarship, but still on the team, meaning he would practice with the team, eat with the team, travel with the team, and dress for some games with the team.

Of course, as a walk-on, he rarely plays in games, but I have to think that being around someone like Coach Izzo, who is at the top of his profession, has to teach you something about leadership. So, if you don’t have a rooting interest in the tournament, root for MSU and see if, maybe, my nephew can go to a Final Four.