Former Michigan State basketball stars Mateen Cleaves and Steve Smith and football standout Percy Snow are nominees to join the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
The trio, along with sports broadcaster and East Lansing native Jim Brandstatter, has a chance to be among the eight inducted into the 57th class of the hall of fame in February. And the public can help them get there by voting here.
Other hall nominees include former Detroit Lions Lomas Brown and Robert Porcher, former Detroit Red Wings Chris Chelios, Mark Howe and Mike Modano, former Detroit Piston Dennis Rodman, Jackson native and former NFL coach Tony Dungy and former University of Michigan athletes Barry Larkin and Tyrone Wheatley.
Jim Stark, the executive director of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, said the 57th class will probably be announced in mid-October.
“We encourage people to vote. This is the first time they have a chance to cast a vote for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame,” said Stark, who added that a super election committee and a block of media members/sports team officials will also factor into how the class is selected.
Cleaves and Snow are nominees under the college/amateur category, while Smith is in the professional category. Brandstatter is among the media/contributor candidates.
Cleaves led the Spartans to the 2000 national championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Cleaves was a three-time All-American and was twice named the Big Ten Player of the Year.
“Mateen Cleaves obviously coming out of Flint, part of the Flintstones, he was the next generation of the Magic, Greg Kelser, Jay Vincent. He was part of that next group,” Stark said. “Mateen was a leader, he was a great point guard and he fit perfectly into Tom Izzo’s system.”
Smith is the second-leading scorer in MSU history. He was an NBA All-Star while with the Atlanta Hawks in 1998, was on the USA National team that won gold at the 2000 Olympics and won an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
“Steve is one of the great names at Michigan State for not just what he did on the court, but obviously what he’s done since then with his contributions to the university,” Stark said.
Snow was a two-time first-team All-American linebacker at MSU and led the “Gang Green” defense that helped MSU win the 1987 Big Ten title and reach the Rose Bowl. He ranks second in MSU history in career tackles with 473.
“He’s another guy in a long line of Michigan State linebackers, several who are in our hall of fame – George Webster, Bubba smith, Carl Banks,” Stark said. “He fits right in that series of great Michigan State linebackers.”
In the MSU coverage that’s in today’s paper we have the following:
Columnist Graham Couch writes that the Michigan State-Notre Dame rivalry is worth keeping.
Solari takes a look at the Big Ten as a whole as it enters conference play after a lackluster first four weeks of the season.
There is also this piece on Braxton Miller, who has been a large source of offense for No. 14-ranked Ohio State this season. He has drawn plenty of praise in his growth from Urban Meyer and teammates.
This news side piece by Matthew Miller takes a look into the MSU board of trustees and finds that athletics is a key with some of its members.
In other news, MSU senior golfer Caroline Powers was named the Big Ten golfer of the week today. It was the school-record fourth time she’s earned the honor. That ties her cousin Emily Bastel, a recent inductee into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, and Laura Kueny.