Nicholas Sanders, Son of Lions Legend Barry, Joins Michigan St. Basketball as Walk-on

Erin WalshAugust 26, 2022

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The son of Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders is taking his talents to Michigan State.

Nicholas Sanders is joining Michigan State's men's basketball team as a freshman walk-on, according to ESPN's Eric Woodyard. He will wear No. 20, the same number his father wore while playing in the NFL.

The news comes after it was revealed that Barry Sanders made an appearance at an MSU basketball practice over the summer and spoke with the team.

Sanders, a guard, is listed on the Michigan State roster as 5'9" and 170 pounds. He played high school basketball at Detroit Country Day, a private school in Michigan.

Sanders likely won't see much playing time for Tom Izzo's squad as a freshman but could see more time on the court as his career with the Spartans progresses.

The Spartans are an exciting program to join. The school has won two national titles, made 10 trips to the Final Four and made 14 Elite Eight appearances.

Michigan State finished the 2021-22 season with a 23-13 record. The Spartans reached the NCAA tournament but were eliminated by Duke in the second round.

Barry Sanders, 54, had a Hall of Fame career as a running back in the NFL. He rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns in 153 games and earned 10 Pro Bowl selections and six All-Pro selections in addition to collecting the 1989 Rookie of the Year award and the 1997 NFL MVP, among other honors. He's fourth all-time in career rushing yards, ranks second in rushing yards per game (99.8) and is seventh in NFL history in yards from scrimmage (18,190).

The former Lion played college football at Oklahoma State.


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