EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan State is a place Reed Lebster and his family love deeply. Over 20 members of the Lebster family have gone to MSU, including Reed’s older brother, parents and grandparents.
So it should come as no surprise that after entering the transfer portal this offseason, Lebster ultimately wound up in East Lansing.
“I grew up coming to games and kind of always wanted to go to Michigan State,” he said. “I ended up at UMass but it’s kind of full circle to be back here again.”
A Grand Rapids native who played junior hockey in Des Moines, Iowa, Lebster spent the past four years playing at UMass.
As a sophomore, he helped the Minutemen win their first national championship and scored a goal in the 5-0 championship victory over St. Cloud State.
“It still feels pretty surreal,” Lebster said of being a national champion. “It was an unbelievable experience. I mean, growing up, that’s all you really dream of as a kid is winning something like that, obviously [the] Stanley Cup but to win a national championship in college was — it still feels surreal.”
For all the fond memories from that championship season, one moment late in the championship game often replays in Lebster’s mind.
“I guess I would say one memory that I think about a lot is we were going into the third period and we were up I think three or 4-0 at that point,” he said. “We had like a media timeout and our coach brought us in and was like ‘you guys are going to be national champions. Take this moment in, like realize that. Look around, look at all these guys, look at what you guys have done.’ At that moment we kind of knew and it was unbelievable.”
After two more years at UMass, Lebster entered the portal as a graduate transfer. Soon, Michigan State reached out. Lebster knew it was time to come home.
“When I told my parents that Michigan State was talking to me they were like ‘I mean you have to come here,'” he said. “They’re very excited to be able to come to every game. They couldn’t go to many games out at UMass so to be close to home and root on the college that they’ve always loved is huge for them and I’m pumped as well.”
As far back as he can remember, Lebster dreamed of playing hockey at Michigan State. Through years of playing in a different state and a different sweater, he developed into a national champion.
But he never quite lost sight of that childhood dream.
Now, he’s ready to bring his championship experience and veteran leadership to the school he and his family have always loved.
You can watch the full story with Reed Lebster in the video player at the top of this article.