Tom Izzo to receive 2016 Dean Smith Award

Tom Izzo is set to receive another honor.

On Thursday, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced the Michigan State Spartans head coach, who was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will be the recipient of the 2016 Dean Smith Award.

The award is presented annually to a person in college basketball who embodies the spirit and values of the late North Carolina coaching great.

“Tom Izzo represents everything the Dean Smith Award stands for,” USBWA president Ed Graney said. “Coach Izzo’s distinguished career and commitment to excellence represent the standards for which this award is defined, qualities Coach Smith held as paramount in making an impact on the lives of players on and off the court.”

The Dean Smith Award was established last year; Georgetown coach John Thompson was the first recipient.

Izzo is know to hold a strong relationship with players well after their playing days, so he is certainly embodying the spirit of the award and is deserving of the honor.

“He calls or texts me all the time to see how things are going,” Golden State Warrior All-Star Draymond Green said in a statement. “He cares about us as people and helping us grow as human beings. I don’t think you get that kind of relationship with most coaches at other schools.”

Izzo will receive the award at a yet-to-be-announced home game sometime this season.

Congrats, coach!

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