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Devin Booker’s first autograph was from Michigan State basketball legend

Cool shoutout.



Michigan State basketball star Drew Neitzel celebrates
© Pouya Dianat-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball and Grand Rapids legend Drew Neitzel was the first-ever autograph for NBA star Devin Booker.

Drew Neitzel was one of the greatest Michigan State basketball players of the Tom Izzo era and he still, to this day, does not get the love he deserves.

The former Grand Rapids legend turned Spartan superstar was a major reason Michigan State was able to make the NCAA Tournament while he was there and he was responsible for leading the team to multiple massive wins — the win over No. 1 Wisconsin comes to mind.

Neitzel was a legend during his Michigan State days and a lot of kids, including myself, grew up wanting to be just like him.

Another one of those kids who looked at Neitzel like a hero, aspiring to be like him, was Devin Booker.

That’s right, NBA superstar Devin Booker who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns and is one of the best players in the world looked up to Neitzel. He gave the former Michigan State star a special shoutout last week when he was asked who his first-ever autograph was from.

“Drew Neitzel. If you’re familiar. Grand Rapids legend.”

Booker remembers the moment he asked for his first autograph at Neitzel’s camp and it looks like it stuck with him. He looked at the camera with a big grin after he said Neitzel’s name and it seems as if it was one of those “why I love the game” moments.

Now I’m not going to sit here and say that Drew Neitzel is responsible for making Booker love the game of basketball, but being from the same area as a star college basketball player in state had to have had a major impact on him. Heck, it probably made Booker consider Michigan State before ultimately choosing Kentucky.

Regardless, it’s cool to see Neitzel get a much-deserved shoutout from an NBA superstar.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.


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