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Coming to MSU was One of the Best Decisions of My Life

Cassius Winston smiling on the court

Coming to MSU was One of the Best Decisions of My Life

Michigan State men’s basketball senior Cassius Winston (Communication Arts & Sciences) wrapped up one of the great careers in program history this year, earning All-American honors for the second-straight year and leading the Spartans to their third-straight Big Ten Regular Season title. He and his classmates took time to say farewell to the MSU community.

Dear Michigan State Basketball,

Coming to Michigan State University was one of the best decisions I made in my life.

I don’t regret my decision to come here at all, whether it be on the court or off the court. I feel like on the court, I achieved everything I could as a player. I grew, I got better and my weaknesses I made them into strengths, in a sense. Off the court, it’s been amazing. The way the campus treats me, the way the professors interact with me, the way the  students interact with me. It’s been an amazing experience here for me at Michigan State.

Stepping on campus going into Wonders (Hall) my first year, there were so many unknowns. I didn’t know what this journey would bring to me, I didn’t know what Michigan State would present to me. I came in open-minded and excited. I embraced the journey. I didn’t rush the results, I embraced every step of it. Looking back on it, and where I’m at now, I think I chose the best route to do it. I didn’t try and look too far ahead. I didn’t think about what was next. I stayed in the moment and enjoyed each and every  moment that I could, through the ups and  the downs. It wasn’t all pretty, it wasn’t all sweet, but I stayed in the moment. I fought my way through the downs and I embraced the ups. I think my journey here has been amazing for me.

Being a senior and playing on the team, especially at Michigan State, you know you’re guaranteed two more games. Once your regular season is over, you know you’ve got a game in the Big Ten and a game in the NCAA Tourney. You know your time is coming to an end, you know one of those games is going to be your last, but you know you’ve got two more, at the least, and you’ve got a chance to make a run. You know you’ve got a chance to make a run in the tourney, to make a run in the NCAA Tourney, so you have a chance to play a lot more games. That’s a whole other season if you get to win. You’re in practice and you’re preparing, and we had our last game on the Breslin, but it wasn’t my last game. In my head, it wasn’t going to be my last game. I still had a lot more to prove, I still had a lot more to do. And then all of a sudden, we practiced hard one day and by the end of practice, the season’s over. You can’t prepare for something that’s going to stop without you knowing. Initially, you’re in shock.

My career here at Michigan State is over. There’s no more games. It doesn’t hit you at that moment. It probably hits you a couple of days later when you’re ready go get up and go to practice. March time is when you go harder and you get ready to win a championship. You’re ready to go to practice, but you have nothing to do, there’s literally nothing to do. It’s crazy things can end so suddenly.

To my fans, my teammates, my coaches, thank you. Thank you for sticking with me, thank you for being there for me when it was tough, thank you for being by my side. It was amazing.

My time here at Michigan State has been great and I credit all to you guys. I couldn’t do it by myself. I couldn’t do it without a family to embrace me. I appreciate everyone who had a part of this journey. I appreciate everyone who pushed me, who got me better, who motivated me. I like where I’m at now, I like how I ended my career, I like the things that I’ve accomplished and hopefully I can carry that over to the next step.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned here during my time is to embrace every moment, embrace every day. Don’t try to shortcut anything, don’t try to get out of anything, don’t try to look past anything. Whatever moment you’re in, whatever you’re doing at that moment, that should be the most important thing to you because it flies by, it flies by. If you blink too fast, your career could be over just like that. Embrace it, enjoy every step of it, enjoy the journey. The results at the end you can’t really worry about right now, just try and enjoy every moment you’re in. If you do that, you’re going to get everything out of the university that you want.

Go Green … Cassius Winston

Cassius Winston kisses Spartan helmet on Breslin Center court
Cassius Winston kisses center court in the Breslin Center on Senior Day, March 8, 2020. It ended up being his last game in Spartan uniform.
Cassius Winston embraces teammates
Embracing teammates as he leaves the floor for the final time
Cassius Winston holding the Holding the 2020 Big Ten Championship trophy
Holding the 2020 Big Ten Championship trophy after beating the Ohio State Buckeyes 80-69 at the Breslin Center.

Contributing Writer(s): Cassius Winston