Gilbert Pavilion and Izzo Hall of History Dedicated
EAST LANSING, Mich - The Michigan State Athletics Department officially opened the Gilbert Pavilion and the Tom Izzo Hall of History on Friday afternoon in a ceremony at the Breslin Center.
The project was funded by private donations, including large contributions from Dan & Jennifer Gilbert and from Bob & Julie Skandalaris, with the gifts designated to the Breslin Center addition.
The addition features the Tom Izzo Hall of History, the Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center, a new ticket box office, a championship display, a recruiting lounge, alumni locker room and interactive areas that enhance the fan experience for the more than 500,000 people attending events each year.
Head Women's Basketball Suzy Merchant spoke and thanked Coach Izzo, the Gilbert and Skandalaris families and all donors to the addition to the facility.
"This is an amazing facility," she said. "I also want to thank President Simon, the Board of Trustees and Mark Hollis. I want to bring my team up here. I brought them up here for a reason. I was thinking about things from a female perspective in a male dominated industry. It is not like this everywhere. These guys know it, and you guys know it. That is what makes this place so unbelievably special. People don't just give to give. They give because of you (Coach Izzo). I appreciate you so much."
"The Izzo Hall of History is something, I can't wait to tell everyone I know about it," Gilbert said. "When you walk through this place and see all the history, you can feel it. It's not a cold place, you can feel its soul."
Gilbert introduced Izzo, saying that there is "nobody who leaves a room that Tom Izzo is in and doesn't feel better after he walks out."
"There have been a lot accolades sent my way, and I look and I see Mateen here and I see Andre Hudson and David Thomas, Thomas Kelly, Paul Davis is here," Izzo said. "But it was Mateen and his group who took a chance on me when I was a nobody and made me a somebody. It wasn't what I did, it was what they did.
"Now I have a building that the inside of it is named after me and my newest superstar, my blue-collar superstar as I call Miles (Bridges), had a press conference in the spring and he said, "It's not about me, it's about us.' And he's right, this isn't about me, it's about us."