After having the chance to talk to Matt I really wanted to go to an MSU basketball game to watch him play in person. So I found out at Christmas time that my Grandma Lucy and Papa had tickets to one of the games, and they invited me and my dad to go with them. I was elated!!!! How cool!
We traveled down and found the hotel we were going to stay in because the game didn't start until 9 o'clock. We had great seats for the game in the 7th row. So when we came in to the Breslin Center originally we came in WAY up at the top but our seats were so far down that I would have had to crutch it like a bazillion steps down so we went and found an elevator and then I only had to go up a few steps. The seats were REALLY good. I could see everything. I even saw myself on the jumbotron once. It was focused on the guy in front of me, but I still got on it.
Of course, I was most excited to see my friend Matt play. He had a really good game . . . 14 rebounds and 9 points. It was exciting every time he made a shot, rebounded or block.
I wasn't really sure if I would get the to meet him after the game or not, because you know, he's kind of busy. But his mom told me to go down to the high five line and when Matt came around I was suppose to grab his arm and tell him 'this is Mac' so he would realize it was me. When he realized it was me he said 'Hey Buddy!'
Then all the players went into the locker room and Mr. Costello, Matt's dad, invited me into the family waiting room/players room. There was tons of pizza in there. And players could just take what they wanted. Some of them would take a WHOLE pizza and eat the whole thing. I'm not sure how they ate a whole pizza. But anyway, while I was there I got to meet some of the players (Gavin Shilling #34, Forbes #5 and Davis #23) while I waited to go in and see Matt in the locker room.
I saw this great big board where they post their goals near the pizza table (I promise I wasn't stealing any!). If they make their goal then they get a Spartan sign, if not they get their stats written in.
Then Mr. Costello and Matt took me into the locker room to check out where he gets ready. And he showed me all his shoes. There was an incredible amount of shoes for just playing basketball. He has so many that he let me just pick a pair. They were huge. I could put my shoes on and still fit in them! It was pretty cool. The pair I got were neon green and he played in them in 2012.
It was so neat to see where he and the other players get ready.
Then we got to see the practice gym.
And then guess where they showed me?
Coach Izzo's office is pretty big. The room next to Coach Izzo's is where Matt signed with MSU. It felt pretty special to have them spend time with me and show me around.
It was a pretty late night so I finally had to say good-bye to Matt and his fiancee' Anna. I think I finally went to bed at about 1:30am because I was watching a bunch of after game stuff and was still pretty excited. It was a pretty incredible night. One that I will remember forever, but the best part was getting to have fun with Matt (Do you know he wears Yoda hat --it's hilarious! He got it from his mom for Christmas.) and finding out he's a really great athlete because he's such a nice guy.
**'God sends us the right people at the right time for the right reasons every time.' I'm not sure what compelled Matt to reach out to MacKale that first time, but he did and it has given MacKale such joy. I was a bit worried that first time that MacKale texted Matt. Maybe Mac would be 'bothering' Matt. He's was a busy college student with a lot going on after all, but seeing those brief glimpses of delight from MacKale when he'd been so sick allowed me to selfishly think that maybe it really was, 'ok, ' and in fact, it was better than ok. I am so grateful that God chose Matt for MacKale.