EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Being a Yooper, Jason Whitens knows what it means to be tough and gritty. Last year, he was tested both mentally and physically after a torn ACL ended his season.

One year later he is back, and as he shared with our Haley Schoengart on this week’s edition of the MSUFCU Coaches Show, he is living his dream and enjoying every moment of it.

“It’s been crazy, its’s been fun,” Whitens said. “Obviously we’ve got to travel a lot, we’ve been to some really cool places. Obviously you think about the aircraft carrier game. We went out west a couple times. It’s been really fun.”

Whitens also said that not being injured this year has allowed him to get really close with the guys and not feel like an outsider.

Playing for Tom Izzo is a dream for many kids who are from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Whitens said. Ultimately, representing the U.P. is one of the main reasons he loves getting on the court.

“I know a lot of kids in the U.P. would do anything for this opportunity that I’m in,” Whitens said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

In this interview, Whitens also discusses his increased playing time with injuries to Malik Hall and Jaden Akins, taking every opportunity you’re given, and more.

You can watch the entire interview at the top of the page.