The son of Detroit Lions legend and NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders is following in his father’s athletic footsteps, but he is doing so in a different sport. Michigan State released its official 2022-23 roster on Friday, and Nicholas Sanders was listed among the players joining Tom Izzo’s team.
Now that the roster is out, it makes sense why Barry Sanders was a special guest speaker during one of the Spartans’ practices earlier this summer.
Nicholas Sanders — one of Barry Sanders’ four sons — is listed as a 5-foot-9, 170-pound freshman guard. He is joining the Spartans as a walk-on after playing high school basketball at Detroit Country Day, a private school in Michigan. He wore No. 23 in high school but will be switching to No. 20 in college, which is the same number his father wore during his time with the Lions from 1989 to 1998.
Michigan State is certainly an exciting program for Sanders to join. The Spartans have two national titles, 10 trips to the Final Four and 14 Elite Eight appearances. They wrapped up the 2021-22 season with a 23-13 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament that ended with an 85-76 loss to Duke in the second round. Izzo is one of the most well-known coaches in college basketball, and earlier this month he signed a new five-year rollover contract worth $6.2 million annually.