Spartans All-Access: Episode 213 | Michigan State


(upbeat motivational music) (indistinct conversations) – Farai, his name in my language, Shona actually means joy, happiness. That’s something I can say that Farai’s childhood was like. You know, very happy, very energetic, probably the most energetic
kid you can ever meet. – My family, we’re all from Zimbabwe. My dad actually, he got a
scholarship here at MSU. And so, he was first here just by himself, and then we all came
together as a family in 2006. When we moved here, I was six years old. – Flying, almost 24 hours from Harare, Zimbabwe to Lansing, Michigan, I think the common feeling
was just excitement. Excitement of a different country, different opportunities,
different adventure. – My parents, they worked
really hard to try to give us the best life possible. In the beginning it was hard, just because we’re first generation immigrants. And so, we had to kind of forget, like, what was behind. Because we had to try to
move forward, that was the hardest thing. My mom would always say,
“this is for the best,” you know? And so like, I think we
really began to come together as a family. We got tighter, because we had to. Especially the fact that
there’s no other family here in the USA that has our last name. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] Beautiful
blue sky, in Columbus, at the Ohio State golf
course, all totaled there’s seven women’s teams on the start line, who are in the top 25
of the Flow XC rankings, a very deep conference here. – Three in the top 12. I think we had eight of the
top 25 teams in the country in our conference. So, the depth of the
conference was outstanding. We went into it with, you know, some pretty good confidence,
and knew what we could do and sort of wanted to manage ourselves in that manner, and
see how the chips fell. – [Narrator] The gun
is up, and we are off. (crowd cheering) – We kind of got a little bit lucky at the beginning because we were situated on one of the outer parts
of the starting boxes. And so, for me personally,
I was able to just kind of get on the outside of the race. So I was able to find a
lot of open spots there. – When I saw that they
got out really well, they weren’t overly aggressive, I knew that our race plan for them, and the way they wanted to
race would unfold from there. – We all just talked about
this goal that we had, and so, individually, this
goal was for the team to just run together and run our best race, and be the best version
of ourself on that day. – I thought when they went
by me after 3,000 meters that we were starting
to do the things that we needed to do to be in, you
know, to be in the hunt. I thought we had the upper
hand with probably about 700 meters to go. (upbeat motivational music) – When I finished, and
starting recuperating myself, you know, like, catching my breath, I turned around and pretty
much all of my teammates had already finished the
race, and I was like, “Wow,” like, I think we just did this. And then, we kind of got
the news and we just all started freaking out and crying, and all of our teammates
that came to watch us were there, and crying, and, it was just, it
was an awesome moment. No, it’s a video. – Woo! – Ole! (laughs) – Big Ten champs! Woo! – [Announcer] And your
winner, with 56 points, Michigan State University. (crowd cheers) (marching band victory music) (crowd cheering) – This was their goal from the start, they met in August, they talked about being Big Ten champions, they did everything right. Most importantly, they trusted each other, and they went to work today. (crowd cheering) – It was a huge surprise, I did not expect anyone to be there, I
expected our, us to get in our cars and go home. But, that sort of thing, I’ve only seen in movies before. So, just to see that in person was really fun to experience. – [Crowd Member] Congratulations! (crowd cheers) – [All] Thank you! – I have not seen my
parents, face to face, in about five years. They left in January of 2013. – My parents got an opportunity to go back to Zimbabwe to kind of do a few projects that they had been working with. MSU, I thought it was a
great opportunity for them. They had started a
partnership between Zimbabwean colleges and Michigan State. So they wanted to
facilitate an exchange of resources, exchange of
professors, exchange of students, between the two colleges. So, through this partnership, in order to, to make it more successful,
it required them going back to Zimbabwe. The plan was to go back,
and also, at the same time, renew their visas. – We did not expect them to be gone, for as long as they are now. We thought this was temporary. I was younger too, I was a little naive on what the situation really was. But, I was just hoping, you know, it’s like a little vacation,
they’ll be back soon. But it wasn’t the case, so. – At that time, I was just out of college. I was working and it was, it was more of “Hey, this is now our
responsibility to take care of ourselves.” The months went by and
they kept on trying, it just, seemed like it
wasn’t going to work out, so, we kind of carried on
and tried to find ways to still continue chasing our dreams. (somber music) – [Sports Announcer] Henry,
in all kinds of traffic, to McQuaid for three, and a tie, and it went out. And they got the rebound. (crowd cheering) What a great look he had and it didn’t go. (crowd cheering) What has been a fabulous
season for Michigan State is going to come to
an end in the final four. The final… – [Cassius] Keep grinding
bro, keep working, keep getting better bro, this ain’t our last time bro. We gonna be back man, love y’all boys. Thank y’all for everything. – Thank you bros for sending us out right. I wouldn’t wanna go to
war with no one else. – [Cassius] We’re family on three, One, two, three… – [All] Family! – Losing in the final four was tough, you know just ’cause we
made it that far as a team, you know, feel like we fought. Gave everything we had
to get to that point, and to come up short, was definitely tough just because, you know,
our seniors, you know, they gave us everything we had. I feel like we could have won that game. So, we didn’t accomplish that, and, you know, after that, we
kind of just used that as a driving force to the summer, all the way to the next season. Just, you see guys putting in that work, you see guys putting
in that extra effort to not only make it back to that point, but make it further. (wheels whirring) (shoes squeaking on gym floor) The freshman class, you know, Julius, Rocket, and Malik, you know, all are very talented players, all have a chance to
contribute to this team, you know, win some games in a big way, so, just gotta kind of embrace ’em, teach ’em the ropes,
you know, just help ’em learn as much as they
can, as quick as they can. Don’t try to isolate ’em
or you know, act like you got things handled
and things like that. You gotta give them a
chance to go out there, give ’em a chance to make some mistakes, and just, you know, every
time they make a mistake, let ’em learn from it. Try to teach ’em. (yelling) – Just trying to build off the momentum, but then also make sure
everybody’s where we need to be. Get the now sophmores
like, Gabe, and Marcus, and Thomas, and Foster
ready, ’cause they’re playing big minutes this year. – If we come back with a strong group, I feel like, that thing
that we bring back is experience, you know. I’ve been through some things on and off the court, you know, guys
are gonna be more prepared than what they were last year
that didn’t play as much. And we got, Xavier and
Cassius back in front that starting lineup, and, you
know, I’m just excited to what’s to come. – We’ve got a lot of talented players, you know, a lot of guys
that can help us win in a lot of ways. It’s gonna be a lot of
surprises off the bench, and, you know, any, any
given night it’s gonna be a different guy that can kind of, help us, you know, get over that hump, and win those games. And I think that’s huge for a team, especially if we’re trying to accomplish what we wanna accomplish. (basketball players yelling) – We want teams to come at us so we can get better each and every day. And, at the same time, we
gotta have that mentality that they have. Okay, maybe they’re not
the number one team, but they’re gonna try to beat us, and, our job is to take everybody
out who we play against. (upbeat hip hop music) – I didn’t come here to be babied, I didn’t come here to play
teams that aren’t as good, I came here to play the best of the best all the time. It’s certainly not easy, you know, we play a very tough schedule, maybe the top three
schedules in the country every year, and it’s not gonna be easy, but, it’s something that can be done. (upbeat electronic music) – Fortunate to have
another opportunity to have one of those teams where they have a legit chance to win it, and
you know, it’s my last chance, so, every day,
you know, every practice, you know, just knowing that, you know, it’s getting closer to my last one, so just try to enjoy it, embrace it, and let these guys know that, you know, we’re strictly on business
and we’re gonna enjoy every moment of it. (upbeat music) (crowd clapping and cheering) (bell dings) – Finish that Jimmy! (players yelling) (clapping) Keep talking Malik. Nice, get up, stay up. Great job. Great job, focus was there, we didn’t shoot as well
earlier and then we started shooting it better late. That’s why you come on a day like today, let’s just get out of here
and get our work done, all right? – Family on three, family on three, One, two, three… – [All] Family! (slow somber music) – I was 13 years old, and,
this was the year before high school. And so, I was in eighth grade. And, they know, 13 years
old, especially as a boy, that’s the time when you
really begin to like, spend time with your dad, you know. ‘Cause he really begins
to teach you certain things on, how to become
a man, and, what that looks like in high school. And so, I felt like I had, like, a lot of responsibility, at a young age to be there for my little sister. And to also just support my brother. Who was, Trinity, who was at that time, working two jobs just to take care of us. He became a father figure to me, he was also brother, was our number one fans. And not on the soccer
field, provided us meals. And he was doing that when
he was like, 24 years old. And that’s a lot of responsibility. Coming back to America it’s not easy, especially with,
everything that’s going on with immigration, so,
it’s just hard to really secure a Visa here, and
to, find citizenship. It’s not as easy as, I
feel like, most people think it is. So, but yeah, they’re
still working on that. They’re doing well, they
miss us a lot, obviously. We miss them a lot. We try to call and FaceTime, if we can. (cell phone beeping) – Hello Farai. (speaking in foreign language) – Eh, I received life, I received life. (laughs) What time is it over there? – Yeah because, it’s
like, what time is it now? It’s like, 5:30 p.m. – 5:30, oh okay. Wow. Yeah, it’s getting, it’s getting dark. Ah. (speaking in foreign language) Ah, you know. Just, living life, enjoying life. Enjoying life… – [Mother] Too cool for me? To cool, yeah, too cool. – What do you mean “too cool”, mummy? (laughs) Mummy, eh, you put on the sunglasses. I like it. (laughs) – [Mother] Hold on Farai, I lost my video. – Okay, that’s okay, no worries. – [Mother] Who are you playing
with, this coming weekend? – This weekend? This weekend we play Indiana. – [Mother] Oh my word, Farai! (laughs) – It’s gonna be, it’s gonna be home. – [Mother] Oh my word! Under the floodlights? – Yeah, yeah. Oh it’s gonna be 3:00 p.m. so we’ll see. (laughs) – Mummy, eh, so we… – [Mother] The only thing I miss. – Oh yeah. – [Mother] That’s the only thing I miss. Ah, if there’s anything
that I miss, I miss… Yeah, just being there for you. Just being there. Yeah, and just going, “Farai!” (laughs) Farai! All right, so would you
say you are ready as well? You are ready? – Mhm. – [Mother] Spiritually, emotionally? – Mhm. – [Mother] And keep smiling, you know? – Yeah. – [Mother] Enjoy and
the Lord is my strength. – Mmm. The one thing that my
mom would always do when we called her, was, she would pray. She would pray with us, pray together. When you begin to understand
who you truly are, where your worth actually comes from, you begin to have a different
outlook, even on the, the darkest moments and the
darknesses in the world. As I grew in my faith, in Christ, I really began to feel
closer to them in a way. Because, I knew that the
same God that was with them was with us too. Soccer became a place
where I could let go of everything else that’s going on. And, whether that’s your
skills, scoring goals, whatever it may be, soccer
became that haven for me. Every time I thought about
playing college soccer I would see myself in the green and white. And so, it was definitely
been a dream of mine to play here. (crowd cheering) I really made my decision to come here because of the family aspect of MSU. That’s why I felt so
comfortable saying yes to Michigan State,
because I knew that I was close to home, I knew that
I would be with family, my family could come watch my games, but also, things that I
believe in, things that I value, they would be there. – I think a big part
of me is just grateful. Grateful for the opportunity,
grateful as a brother to see him at this stage. To see him following his dreams. – [Mother] Michigan State
has lent Faisal such a great community that it brought you up to become who you are. Each time I think of you
and what you’ve become. (sighs) Yeah. Yeah, yeah. – Oh, wow. That’s good, mummy. – [Mother] And I can
only say, Michigan State. (yelling) Go Spartans, go Spartans, go! (laughs) – It has been a long journey. Michigan State gave us an opportunity. An opportunity for us
to have a better life or to be able to pursue our dreams, without any limitations. I mean, him playing for
Michigan State and representing Michigan State, I would say
it’s somewhat also giving back. It’s also an appreciation for the school for giving us, the whole
family, an opportunity. (crowd cheering) – Every time I step on the field, or in the classroom, I feel like I gotta give
everything that I have. I don’t ever want to feel
like there’s more that I could have gave. And so, that’s what drives me. Seeing where my family
is, and seeing where my family came from,
and how far we’ve come, it makes me want to give
everything that I have. My heart, my mind, and my
soul into everything I do. (upbeat music) – They left camp and they had a meeting, and they said, “this is
what we’d like to do”. And they haven’t wavered from that. We haven’t tried to talk
them out of their goals, but we’ve really tried to
remind them that you have to manage the things you can control. And in all that, they
still didn’t want to change their mind. Like, we wanna try and
win Big Ten championship. And, they recognized
the kind of, the vision that we had for it to happen,
and really embraced that. – They get better as a
group when they’re the ones pushing it forward, as
opposed to our coaching style of always being the ones. And they’ve really took
momentous steps in that direction this season, from camp onward, and that’s been really exciting to see. – They have some pretty
serious goals moving forward, and we have a
pretty good shot given what we’ve done. And then the national
championship, I think we go there with the idea that
we’ll just be our best and see how it all falls. It was similar to what we did in terms of our team in 2014. We’re not that team, and we’re not asking our athletes to be that team. We’re just trying to be
the best version of us. We can go in, if we’re a solid as a team, if we run pretty well at
the front with a couple of people as close
together as we did at the conference meet, they’ll
be pretty dangerous. (crowd cheering) (upbeat music) – [Announcer] We’ve
been waiting a long time for this one. Number one pre-season, Michigan State, number two pre-season, Kentucky. Both ball clubs have great aspirations, both ball clubs have great
players on their roster. But each one of these
teams have question marks, and they have youth. And one of the great things
about this event today, is that both Michigan State and Kentucky will get a real test of
what they have, and what they have to work on,
between now and the beginning of conference play. – We’re in good shape, we’re healthy, for the most part, and
just run ’em to death. Just keep the pressure on ’em. Long night, late night, so what? You know, this is where our
toughness wins out, okay? (team clapping) – [MSU Announcer] That’s
what these great coaches, both on both sides of the, of the floor, and they know right
away in a game like this what they have and then what they’ll need to work on. They won’t have to wait a month. It’s number one versus number two, and right away, Tom Izzo
will know what he has, and our smart fans will know what we have. – [First Announcer] Here
we go, Kentucky in white, Michigan State in green,
we are ready for the tip. Now our side block buster,
through Rocket Watt’s back door, and a quick bucket for Cassius Winston. (crowd cheers) – [Dicky] Really nice play without the basketball. – [First Announcer] Xavier
Tillman now he’s patient, and he lays it in with the left hand. – [Dicky] Terrific move
around the box inside. They say he’s improved
his footwork and here’s a demonstration right
there in the low post. – [First Announcer] And
he’s keeping the dribble alive, pulls up for the jumper. (crowd cheering) How about the confidence
for Haigins so far? – [Dicky] Tell you what, he makes that jump shot, wow. – [First Announcer] And
what a shot for the Cats, up by seven in the early go. – [Dicky] Higgins can
get him the ball in the right place… – [First Announcer] Kithier
to Brown in the corner, and Gabe Brown knocks down the three. – [Dicky] That’s his expertise. Shooting threes. – [First Announcer] Justini
helping out on Winston. Forced it up. And, it’ll go! Now the pace picking
up, both teams starting to settle in offensively. Doing a good job keeping
it in front of them. Quickley has to force it up. (crowd cheering) And it goes down with a
shot clock running out. Here comes Winston, ahead to Henry! Nice job avoiding the
defender and landing it in. They’re starting to slap
the floor on defense here getting feisty now. – [Dicky] Wide open, wide open! Nobody back on defense. (crowd cheering) – [First Announcer] Winston
to Brown in the corner and it goes, another
assist for Cassius Winston. (crowd cheering) Look at that stroke for the big guy, he can really knock it down. (crowd cheering) Well, let’s see what kind
of response Michigan State can amount here, it a
nine 0 run for Kentucky. Tillman, pawing for it,
got Richards on him, kick back out, Ahrens for three. (crowd cheering) – [Dicky] He can do that. Ahrens coming off an
injury, he has the ability to shoot the three. (crowd cheering) – [First Announcer] Henry,
and he banks it home, and it’s a six-point game. – [Dicky] That’s a big
time move right there. (crowd cheering) These teams are one and two,
’cause they won’t go away. You know, they’re gonna
keep coming after you. And go down that court Oh wow! Acrobatic! Was that acrobatic? (crowd cheering) Oh, come on Winston. There it is, number one and number two. Will Michigan State
leave here as number one? Or will Kentucky be the new number one? – [First Announcer] Good job
by Henry not giving Maxey any room at all. – [Dicky] Look at him, he’s in the defensive stance. (crowd cheering) Are you serious, are you serious? – [First Announcer]
That is going to do it, Kentucky defeats Michigan State, 69-62. – [Dicky] Fantastic,
what a great performance. – [First Announcer] And the
college basketball season is underway. (crowd cheering) (upbeat motivational music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *