Considering the relationship Mateen Cleaves has with former coach Tom Izzo, it’s no surprise that Cleaves has been a fixture around the basketball program and a sounding board for both Izzo and a number of players on the team pretty much since Cleaves’ college career came to an end. But his impact isn’t just felt on the basketball team, via Josh Slagter of MLive:
Bennie Fowler only had to look inside the Michigan State family for a pep talk.
“I talked to Mo Cleaves all the time. We actually hung out at Draymond (Green)‘s draft party,” Fowler said of Mateen, the former Spartans basketball point guard.
“He’s helped me out a lot, Draymond’s helped me out a lot. They always keep me positive.”
Cleaves missed Michigan State’s first 13 games of the 1999-2000 season with a stress fracture in his foot, but returned to help the Spartans win their only national championship under coach Tom Izzo.
Fowler, a junior wide receiver, has been limited to just 16 career catches because of stress fractures in both feet, one of which required surgery.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering both Cleaves and Green are among the most vocal MSU athletes of all-time, that they’re willing to help and give advice to anyone, but it is certainly a nice resource for Michigan State athletics to have.