Izzo grants exhibition to nephew's program

St. Cloud State is a small Division II hoops program on the banks of the Mississippi River in (where else) St. Cloud, Minn. It is not a place you would associate with college hoops celebrity, nor is it the type of program that gets to play big-time games against Division I opponents very often -- if ever.

But St. Cloud State has an ace in the hole: Kevin Levandoski. Levandoski is a sophomore and an Appleton, Wis., native. He's also the nephew of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. Which is why St. Cloud State will travel to East Lansing, Mich., Nov. 2 for an exhibition game in the Breslin Center. How? Per the Detroit Free Press, Levandoski said he just figured he'd ask:

"We were at some event, and I asked him if he would be down for it. He was all for it," Levandoski said of his uncle. "I told Coach [Kevin] Schlagel, and he was all for it, too. ... "I've been looking forward to this for a long time. It's unreal to think about. I can't wait for the game. It's going to be a blast."

Per the St. Cloud Times, SCSU coach Kevin Schlagel finalized the details with Izzo and signed the game contract last Tuesday. Levandoski has worked at Izzo's camps in the past, and he and his family are regular Kohl Center visitors when the Spartans come to Madison, Wis., to face the Badgers, but he said he's never been to a game in the Breslin Center, let alone played there. The Nov. 2 experience is sure to be a memorable one, not only for Levandoski but for his coaches and teammates, too. It never hurts to know the guy who knows the guy, right?