Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans basketball team will kick off their season with an exhibition game Sunday in GR to benefit the victims of this summer and fall's hurricanes. And it's personal for some of his team.

The game will be played 2pm Sunday, October 29 at Van Andel Arena. Tickets are available starting Wednesday at 3pm from all Ticketmaster locations and the Van Andel box office. Tickets are just $17.50 and the money raised will go to hurricane relief efforts in Georgia and in the Bahamas through the American Red Cross.

“This is a great opportunity for our programs to help make an impact with the relief and rebuilding efforts in areas that were affected by this summer’s hurricanes,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “We look forward to playing back in Grand Rapids where we have a strong fan base.”

The two teams came up with the idea through the connection of Izzo's nephew, Matt Bucklin, who works in the Georgia athletic department. The two teams have been granted a waiver by the NCAA to play the exhibition before the approved date of November 10, or 42 days after practice began.

Georgia was affected by Hurricane Irma, while the Bahamas felt the impact of both Hurricane Irma and Maria. Spartan guard Tum Tum Nairn is from the Bahamas, which adds a personal connection to the game.

“We had schools contact us about, but adding a road game in short notice seemed more difficult than needed,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said in a release. “But this is an opportunity to help the people of the state of Georgia. Hurricane Irma had a significant impact on the DawgNation. … I want to thank Coach Izzo and the administration of MSU for helping to put this together so quickly.”

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