When Tom Izzo arrived years ago on the campus of MSU, who knew he would become a Hall of Fame coach.

Tom Izzo as most of you know was born and grew up in the Upper Peninsula. He had a solid upbringing with great parents and siblings. He was taught at an early age the value of a strong work ethic. Izzo carried that into the coaching profession.

I’m not going to get into the history of Coach Tom Izzo, just the guy I can call a friend. Izzo isn’t just an elite college basketball coach, he’s a solid cat.

When my mom (Corky) had stage four lung cancer 13 years ago, Izzo called me and said "what can I do?" I said, “what do you mean?” And he said, "I want to call her and talk with her.” So he did. I was floored because Corky had no idea he was going to be calling her. The phone rang and I knew it was him. My mom said “Hi Tom, how are you doing?” They acted like old time friends.

It was absolutely unbelievable. I cried my head off. I’m crying right now just remembering that emotional day. My mom passed away in late December after Christmas in 2007. She was laid to rest on December 31st. The funeral was at St. Gerard and Tom Izzo was in attendance.

He’s more than a hoop coach; he’s an intense Italian guy with a huge heart!

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