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A father-son bond leads recruit to Michigan State commitment

Tom Izzo

AP Photo


A burning desire to make a father proud led Michigan State’s newest commitment to East Lansing.

Gabe Brown, a three-star forward from Belleville, Mich., pledged to Tom Izzo on the Spartans on Tuesday, fulfilling a dream of a father no longer able to see it.

“When I was 14 years old and my dad was watching a basketball game on TV and it was Michigan State,” Brown wrote on social media. “He comes out of the room and comes into my room and says, ‘’Son, I want you to play for Michigan State. Tom Izzo is the greatest coach and he’s making pros.’

“When I was 15 years old my dad had a stroke and was in the hospital for months ...In May of 2016 my dad passed away.”

After briefly considering quitting basketball, Brown returned to the sport determined to get a scholarship offer from Izzo in honor of his own father. It happened Saturday, when Izzo brought Brown to his office during a team camp to extend the offer.

“I almost broke down crying because I knew I achieved this goal for my dad,” Brown wrote, “and knew that I made my dad proud even though he couldn’t be there.”

For Brown, it’s a dream come true. For Michigan State, they get a versatile 6-foot-6 forward that’s one of the top players in the state.

“I am happy to announce that I will be committing to MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY,” Brown wrote.