EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Ahead of Michigan State basketball’s big showdown against the University of Michigan, Mady Sissoko is preparing for the game of his life.

The third-year center will be starting against the Wolverines for the first time in his college playing career.

Sissoko told the MSUFCU Coaches Show that patience is an important virtue. He didn’t start any games in his first two seasons, and now he is playing a much large role for the team.

“It feels great knowing you’re going to play,” Sissoko said. “It’s been a little different than the first two years.”

Sissoko had to make a big change-up in his life before playing basketball for MSU. He moved to the United States and eventually East Lansing from Mali in west Africa.

He wears the number 22 in honor of his brother and as a way to feel connected to his family in Mali.

“The transition was a little bit difficult, especially the first two years and when I was in high school in Utah,” Sissoko said. “It’s been a transition for my whole life, but it’s been great.”

To learn more about Mady Sissoko, his life as a Spartan basketball player and how he’s getting ready to face the Wolverines, check out the MSU Coaches Show in the video player above.