MSU fans clamor for piece of Breslin history

EAST LANSING, MICH. - Close to 400 people lined up outside Michigan State University's Surplus Store Friday morning in hopes of getting their very own piece of basketball history.

All of the pieces of flooring from the practice court within the Breslin Student Events Center available were snapped up by the clamoring crowd within the first hour of the sale.

Michelle and Thomas Cousineau left their house in Laingsburg with their three children in tow around 6 a.m. Friday.

"6:05!" the couple's daughter's Raegan, 7, and Drew, 6, clarified from the back seat of the pickup truck.

The Cousineaus purchased three pieces of practice floor for $20 a piece. Michelle Cousineau hopes to turn one into a coffee table with her brother, an MSU grad. The other two pieces will be used for a new bar top.

The pieces of flooring are roughly four feet square.

Those unable to travel to East Lansing Friday still have a chance to get their own pieces of flooring. Between 400 and 600 additional pieces will be put up for sale online next week, according to James Ives, the surplus store's education and outreach coordinator.

"It was pretty crazy this morning," Ives said. "We had employees showing up at 5 a.m. and there was already a line into the street."

Customers can choose between painted or unpainted sections of flooring, but otherwise the pieces are random. Each section weighs between 80 and 100 pounds and customers Friday were limited to 10 pieces each.

More information on the upcoming sale can be found on the store's Facebook page at facebook.com/msusurplusstore.

The existing practice floor inside the Breslin Center is being replaced as part of a $50 million renovation happening this summer. Upgrades ranging from flooring and lights to the addition of the Tom Izzo Basketball Hall of History are being added as part of the project.

Not everyone who came out Friday was a diehard Spartan. Alec Braggs, 21, is a University of Michigan fan who said he wouldn't have come out except to help his mom load the five pieces she purchased to make into bar tables.

Bragg's mother, Heather Rice, 48, of Lansing, said the pair arrived at the store around 7 a.m. and were toward the back half of the line.

"I didn't expect it to be this busy," she said.

Contact RJ Wolcott at (517) 377-1026 or rwolcott@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @wolcottr.

© 2017 Lansing State Journal


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