Michigan State had a heart-warming moment during its 73-55 victory over Rutgers on Sunday, as Steven Izzo, the son of legendary head coach Tom Izzo, got his long-awaited first collegiate bucket.
With 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the fifth-year senior picked up an and-1, sending the team and crowd into hysterics. That cathartic release was a long time in the making, Izzo told FOX Sports college basketball reporter John Fanta this week in an interview about the moment.
Steven Izzo, son of Tom, scores his first field goal for Michigan State
“Just something that I’ve dreamed of my entire life. Putting on the jersey, going out there. Growing up, I thought about scoring, and then obviously in college, I haven’t really been able to get one to go in. It generated stress for me — everyone wanting you to score for five years,” Izzo said. “Kind of finally having it happen in the way that it happened, it was all worth it. I tell everyone I don’t know if I’ve ever hit a combo move in my career. I think that was my first one.”
Ironically, Izzo said that his “stress levels” were the “lowest” of his collegiate career upon entering the game.
Izzo has appeared in a combined 43 games for Michigan State from 2019-present, but he has only averaged 1.2 minutes per contest.
“I think it was long-awaited,” Izzo said of hugging his dad after the bucket. “Obviously, [Tom Izzo] wanted me to score. He said that the place would go crazy and fans always telling me that the roof’s gonna come off Breslin if I ever did get one to go in.
“Kind of dreamed about that moment, just to hear the fans’ reaction. And I think the double- or triple-bounce that it had on the rim was definitely worth the wait and the suspense of it going in ’cause as I was laying there, you hear fans going ‘oh, oh,’ and then everyone went crazy.”
He also labeled playing for his father as “awesome.”
Izzo is in his 29th season as Michigan State’s head coach. The Spartans are a combined 697-287 in his reign (1995-present).
Next up for Izzo and the Spartans is a home game against Minnesota on Thursday (6:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app). Michigan State is 10-7 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play this season, currently sitting 12th in the conference.
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