GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While all eyes were on Minneapolis Saturday, not everyone who wanted to be at Michigan State University’s Final Four game could make it, including the grandmother of MSU player Marcus Bingham Jr.
Marcus Bingham Jr. is a 6-foot 11-inch forward with a 7-foot wingspan. But to his grandma Marilyn Williams, he’ll always be “Little Marcus.”
Williams is sidelined at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids for a month as she recovers from two back surgeries. Still, she has managed to watch every Spartan game.
The staff at Mary Free Bed helped her keep up that commitment Saturday by giving her a special place to watch the game with her grandchildren and friends. Some hospital workers even came in on their day off to ensure the watch party went smoothly.
Before cheering on MSU, Williams gave her grandson a pregame pep talk.
“Well I talked to him on the phone today and I just told him to play the best he can, root his team on, and before anything, you pray and put God first,” Williams said before the game. “Even if Marcus doesn’t play we’ll be excited.”
Among those watching from the hospital was Marcus Bingham Jr.’s younger brother who was thrilled to see his sibling at the NCAA Tournament and hopes to follow in his playing.
“I ask him, ‘Hey bro, I wanna get where you get. Gimme some tips or something.’ He tell me like focus on school and stuff, it’ll come to you,” said Malik Bingham, who is a power forward at Union High School.
It was all green and white in Williams’ area of the hospital and the cheers made it seem nothing like a gloomy hospital stay. Despite MSU’s loss to Texas Tech, it was a great night for Williams to watch her grandson and the Spartans play.