Michigan State will retire Draymond Green's No. 23 in 'fitting honor'

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor

Michigan State will honor one of its “ultimate winners” when it raises Draymond Green’s No. 23 to the rafters of the Jack Breslin Student Events Center.

The school announced the ceremony will take place Dec. 3 when the Spartans host Duke. It’s the 10th number the school has retired and the ninth to go up in the arena.

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Green, 29, was named the National Player of the Year in 2012 before the Golden State Warriors made him the 35th overall pick in the draft. He’s one of only four Michigan State players to earn the honor.

"I was absolutely blown away when Coach [Tom] Izzo informed me that my jersey would be retired at Michigan State," said Green in the school’s release. "This is an honor that I don't take lightly and, quite honestly, will be one of the major highlights of my career.”

The Saginaw, Michigan, native was a part of the back-to-back Final Four teams in 2009 and 2010, his first two years at the school. Michigan State lost to North Carolina in the title game his freshman year. He won three Big Ten regular season titles at the school and was named a consensus First Team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year.

Spartans head coach Tom Izzo gave a lengthy statement on who Green is as a player, person and ambassador for the school.

"This is a fitting honor for one of the ultimate winners in Michigan State history. What makes Draymond special as a player is his toughness and his high basketball IQ. But he has one other quality that separates him even more from most great players — he has an incredible will to win. Everybody wants to win, but Draymond was always willing to sacrifice to win. He put our program, our school, me and everyone else in front of him, and I always knew that winning was his most important goal. It's the reason he's won championships at every level. He's certainly achieved individual success, but that always comes second to team success.”

In 2015, Green donated a record $3.1 million and the Spartans redid the weight room, naming it after the star.

Green is the program’s all-time leading rebounder (1,096) and is second in steals (180). He’s one of four players to have a triple-double, putting up two in NCAA Tournament play and another in the regular season.

He turned that success into three titles with the Warriors and three All-Star selections. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2016-17.

But it isn’t so rosy for Green and the dynasty two games into the new season. He has 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in losses against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Warriors were the butt of Twitter’s jokes on Sunday after a particularly devastating final score and Green didn’t mince words about the early start.

Draymond Green will have his jersey retired at Michigan State. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)
Draymond Green will have his jersey retired at Michigan State. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)

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