Jud Dines With the Spartans

Thanks to freelancer Howie Stalwick, the hardest working man in the Inland Empire, here’s a note about Jud Heathcote, who grew up along the shores of Manchester near Port Orchard. Now living in Spokane, the coach who led Magic Johnson and the Spartans to an NCAA title (or did Magic lead Jud and the Spartans?) doesn’t have to travel far to watch his beloved Spartans this March.

Michigan State faces New Mexico State today in Spokane.

Here’ s a note courtesy freelance writer Howie Stalwick, who’s covering the games in Spokane for The Sporting News this weekend:

SPOKANE — Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo says team chemistry has not always been ideal this season, so he sought out the perfect remedy after arriving in Spokane on Wednesday: A team dinner with Jud Heathcote.
“That was chemically a good move,” Izzo said Thursday as the Spartans prepared for their NCAA tournament debut today against New Mexico State.
Izzo assisted Heathcote, a South Kitsap High School graduate, at Michigan State before replacing his mentor when Heathcote retired to Spokane after the 1994-95 season.
“Jud’s been to just about every one of our NCAA tournaments (since Izzo became head coach),” Izzo said. “He’s been unbelievable, going a lot of places with us.
“He’s always a quick-wit guy … I love him. He’s the best. I enjoyed being with him last night.

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