Former Michigan State University basketball walk-on donates $32 million to school

The donation is the largest given by one person in the university’s history

EAST LANSING, Mich.Michigan State University athletics received millions of dollars in a major donation from one of its winningest basketball players, on and off the court.

Mat Ishbia -- the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, 1998 Spartan basketball walk-on and 2000 NCAA champion -- recently donated $32 million to his alma mater. His donation is the largest cash donation made from one person in the university’s history.

“Your gift will make a profound impact on our program, and it’s a statement that Michigan State is relentless about excellence, both on and off the field,” said MSU football coach Mel Tucker.

Twenty million dollars of the donation will help change the face of Michigan State, expanding the football center and improving the auditorium, locker rooms and dining halls.

“This is not only a historic day but a tear-jerking, proud day for me,” said MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo.

More than money, Ishbia said he wanted to leave a lasting legacy, not for himself but for Hall of Fame coach Izzo, whose name will now be on the building.

“I would not be as successful, I would not be as great of a person or father, without coach Izzo,” Ishbia said.

Ishbia also made a donation to the Spartan Life Fund, which helps MSU alumni connect with companies looking for employees.


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