Nick Sanders, son of Barry Sanders, joins the Spartans as an extra

Michigan State basketball often boasts of its family atmosphere, a sense of togetherness within the community that is nurtured by every generation of players. The next team tasked with enforcing this standard will have many family ties themselves.

MSU’s official roster for 2022-23 has been released, with the surprise addition of Nick Sanders, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound freshman guard from Detroit Country Day. The name Nick Sanders may not ring a bell, but you probably know his father, Barry Sanders, Hall of Fame running back and Detroit Lions icon.

Young Sanders joins a program that already includes sons from two other notable Michigan State sports personalities to Davis Smith, the MSU legend’s son Steve Smithand Steven Izzo, the son of MSU’s Hall of Fame head coach.

Whereas Tom Izzo is a longtime fan of the Green Bay Packers, the divisional rival of the Lions, he will say he is a bigger fan of greatness, hence Barry Sanders makes an appearance at one of the Spartans’ summer training sessions in late June. With the revelation that Nick Sander joined the program, there may have been more to the visit than a random pop-in.

Also of note with the release of the list, MSU freshmen picked their numbers. Point guard Trejuan Holloman goes with No. 5, last worn by All-American Cassius Winstonwhile forward Jaxon Kohler choose zero and center Carson Cooper took No. 15. Holloman is officially listed at 6-foot-2, 180; Kohler is 6-9, 240; and Cooper is 6-11, 230.

The Spartans have a busy non-conference schedule that will take them around the country this year, including a game with Gonzaga on an aircraft carrier near San Diego, Kentucky in the Champions Classic, Notre Dame in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge , Villanova at the Gavitt Games and Phil Knight Invitational tournament over Thanksgiving weekend.

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