Most starters who average just over six points a game at a program like Michigan State usually aren’t lauded when they quit. Delvon Roe isn’t most guys.
The senior forward officially ended his basketball career Thursday, finally giving in to the ongoing knee pain that robbed him of what could’ve been a remarkable career.
“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Roe said in a statement. “The pain has taken that away and forced me to always think about just getting through the next few minutes or the next game. I don’t want to just ‘get through’ anymore. I’ve played on a leg and a half for most of my career, and that’s not fair to my teammates as they go through the daily grind.”
Instead of showcasing his athleticism and drive, Roe was a role player on two Final Four teams who focused on shutting down opposing players, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.
You know, the things that win games. Maybe that’s why there was an outpouring of Tweets wishing Roe the best in his post-basketball life from guys who know the game.
Spartans coach Tom Izzo was no less appreciative of Roe, who started 83 of 109 games in his career and is second in school history with 106 blocks. Pretty damn impressive for a guy who never missed a game despite never being healthy.
“We’ve built our program at Michigan State on toughness, and I’ve never had a player who played through more pain than Delvon,” Izzo said. “I feel bad for Delvon, because I know how much basketball means to him. It’s a shame that most Spartans never got to see the player I recruited. And yet he found a way to contribute and be a valuable part of two Final Fours and Big Ten championships just by his will and desire.
“Last year, he unselfishly reinvented himself into a defensive stopper that the team needed. For him to call it a career at this time shows the severity of his pain.”
Roe’s track to graduate this spring and plans to walk with his classmates on senior night vs. Ohio State on March 4. With any luck, that won’t be the last time we see Roe on the big stage. Perhaps stardom awaits for the budding actor.
- Michigan State’s Roe was “AWOL” this summer – in a movie
- Roe stepping into lockdown-defender role for Spartans
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