Barry Sanders’ son Nicholas joins Michigan State as a walk-on

Barry Sander’s son is now on the roster of a college basketball powerhouse.

Nicholas Sanders, the son of the Hall of Fame running back, is joining the Michigan State men’s basketball team as a freshman walk-on.

Barry Sanders son Nicholas is on the Michigan State men's basketball team's roster as a walk-on.
Barry Sanders son Nicholas is on the Michigan State men’s basketball team’s roster as a walk-on.
Allen Kee/

The Spartans’ 2022-23 roster, which was released Friday, shows that Nicholas, a guard, will be wearing the No. 20 — the same one his father donned during his legendary career with the Detroit Lions.

Nicholas, listed as a 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, didn’t wear his dad’s number while attending Detroit Country Day School. He opted instead for No. 23, one of Michael Jordan’s numbers during his Hall of Fame NBA career.

While Nicholas was considering his college options, Barry Sanders made an appearance this summer at an a Spartans’ basketball practice, where he talked with the team.

Nicholas isn’t the first Sanders son to play for a big college program. Sanders oldest son, Barry J. Sanders, played college football for Stanford (2012-15) and Oklahoma State (2016), his father’s alma mater.

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