Barry Sanders on being a Michigan State dad: ‘It’s probably my most favorite thing’

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders is used to adjusting on the fly on the field, but recently he’s had to adjust to a new role off the field, a Michigan State dad.

His son, Nick, joined the MSU basketball team this past season as a walk-on shooting guard. Prior to college, Nick played at Birmingham Detroit Country Day where he averaged 10 points, three rebounds and four assists per game.

“It’s probably my most favorite thing to do in life, just being an MSU dad and enjoying seeing the team and seeing Nick and Coach (Tom) Izzo,” Sanders said.

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Sanders was a participate on Tuesday afternoon in the AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble, part of the leadup to the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Alongside him was his son’s coach, Izzo, who took home the championship belt for the second year in a row. Sanders joked that there’s “something fishy” about Izzo’s multiple wins at celebrity pro-arms.

Despite being competitors on the golf course, Sanders is glad Izzo is the one coaching his son. Although, he will occasionally offer some fatherly advice as well.

“He has a pretty good source, so I guess he doesn’t really need me,” Sanders said. “I feel like I know a little bit about the game. I think I offered little tidbits here and there, but at this point, he’s doing good. He’s enjoying himself. He’s doing pretty much what Coach needs him to do, so everything’s working out.”

Although Sanders called Nick being at MSU “the perfect situation,” he nearly ended up following his brother’s footsteps by enrolling at Howard University. Following his high school graduation, he met with Izzo and his mind was officially changed.

“I would say it sort of came together kind of last minute, honestly,” Sanders said. “They (MSU) weren’t probably in the picture very early on. I think during graduation night it was all set up for him to go to Howard and then following the graduation is when we met with Coach Izzo and we were like, ‘I think this is a much better option.’

Sanders, who was spotted at the Breslin Center last season, admits he’s still getting acquainted with the campus, but is “absolutely” planning to get out to some more games this year.

More: Tom Izzo returns to defend title at Rocket Mortgage Classic celebrity scramble

More: Nick Sanders, son of Barry Sanders, makes Michigan State basketball roster

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