March Madness is a wonderful time of the year in beautiful East Lansing, Mich. On the first day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, the university essentially shuts down. Well, the students definitely shut down and shift all of their attention to basketball, even if the classes still run as scheduled.
I was fortunate enough to have experience two Final Four apparences by the Spartans during my four years at Michigan State. The basketball team’s ride to the 2009 National Championship game even coincided with my birthday. They lost to North Carolina, and I subsequently had the worst 20th birthday ever.
But I digress. Tom Izzo has created a family-like culture at MSU, connecting all generations of Spartan basketball players. After leaving my position at the Gannett Design Studio, I was no longer able to produce MSU graphics for the Lansing State Journal. But that didn’t stop me from creating this one, just for fun. I wanted to highlight the most recognizable and successful Spartan basketball player of all time — Magic Johnson. I then included some other prominent basketball players during MSU’s many March runs: Draymond Green, Mateen Cleaves, Coach Izzo himself and Kalin Lucas.
The graphic received a lot of play on social media, and was a big success when my favorite watering hole in EL, Crunchy’s, shared the photo from its Facebook page. That’s definitely in my top five favorite moments as a designer.