(dramatic instrumental music) (peaceful instrumental music)
(people chattering) – You gotta have someone
to always pushin’ you, always drivin’ you. Not everything, like I said,
gonna be handed to you. I had to get it off the mo
exactly where you’re all at. So, basically what I
wanna tell y’all like, keep dreaming, no matter what neighborhood you from, no matter where you come from, no matter who your cousin, your brother is, keep dreaming. ‘Cause one day, if you keep working hard, if you keep pushing yourself, you gonna achieve your
dreams, I mean, I did it. So, my last thing I’mma say, man, y’all keep pushin’, no matter what’s goin’ on in y’all life, you know what I’m saying, stay prayed up, keep God first, keep pursuing your dream no matter how small you is, no matter how big you is. Man, I mean, if y’all think
I mean y’all can’t do, I mean look at me. I was in the same shoes y’all in, that’s all I’m sayin’. Y’all have a good day. My dad was like a best friend, taught me everything I know
about integrity, being a man. Fifth or sixth grade he
went to Iraq and Baghdad. And seeing him so far overseas and still be able to affect me, he just taught me so much. So, I’ll never ever forget the day, I was going to the seventh grade, and that morning he’d
taken me to my track meet, but he was just, kept telling
me he loved me and whatever. He’s just like, you know,
“I’m always be here for you. “Just call me, I’m a call away
if you wanna talk about it “after the track meet.” I’m like, “All right, Dad,” gave him a hug and I got out the car. – I was playin’ in a basketball tournament at the University of Houston. I was headed home and I got
the phone call from him. Something was telling me, go see him, go see your uncle, go see your uncle. So, I made a U-turn and
drove all the way back to go see him, and we stood out there, we talked. He was ridin’ four wheelers,
hanging with the guys, they was trail ridin’, and I left and went home. – And so, the night come and my man, he’s supposed to come
pick me up, or whatever, so I’m like waiting him, it’s me and my little
brother and little sister. So, I go to sleep at my auntie house. My auntie’s, woke us up, you can hear her screamin’ in there, crying just, “Darrell’s got into accident, they rushed to the hospital, I don’t know what’s going on.” So immediately I jump up,
everybody get in the car, people crying. And for some reason I
just start feeling cold. I got my little brother
and little sister with me so I’m trying to, like comfort
them, they see me crying, they crying. – [Chris] Maybe around one
or two o’clock in the morning I got a phone call from one of my uncles. So I answered the phone and
that’s when he gave me the news that I need to get up to
the hospital to see him. And when I got there, that’s
when I was hit with the news. – I seen my uncle and he just, he looked at me, he just started crying, he
started, he’s saying he’s sorry and everything and I’m like, “Why are you saying you, like, sorry?” So I’m automatically, like,
started think of the worst, like, man he’s gone. They told me like to come here and they walkin’ by the room. Just seein’ my Dad just,
like, dead and what not, it really put me in a bad place. And some days I relive
that night and it’s like, it’s very tough, you know,
losing your best friend in a matter of seconds like that, knowing that you just
talked to him earlier. It was very tough. – To know that I will never
ever be able to see him again, talk to him. I don’t think it really dawned
on me when it first happened. I think it might have dawned
on me a couple years after. I realized that I had to raise them the rest of my life by myself. So a lot of times, you know,
I didn’t understand why. I didn’t wanna understand why. Why did that have to happen
to me and my kids, you know, on this day here? The hurt is so bad (crying) ’cause he’s supposed to be here. (crying) – It happened in 2010, but it still feels like it was yesterday. Everybody, I don’t really think nobody has really gotten over it yet, but we try to do the best that we can do to get past it. (somber music) (upbeat music) (skates sliding) – To get ready for a new season, I always take my summer
training very serious, you know, makin’ sure I’m
still gettin’ to the gym, getting my workouts in and, you know, get on the ice and workin’
on my skills and my skating. – That’s a fairly long off season. I think beginning of the summer you’re just trying to rest up, heal any minor bumps and bruises you have. And then, once you kind of rest
up, get your bearings back, you know, you start
building back at the basics. – I mean this year, we’re
finally majority upper class, which we haven’t been in a long time, so I think that with the
big ten being so young, we can really, you know, use that, our experiences to our advantage and we’ll be able to win those games. (hockey stick clinking) – Yeah, I think we got
great chemistry this year. The three freshmen have been awesome. They fit right in in the summer, and we got them acclimated
pretty really quick, and the older guys have
really helped them fit in. They look great out here,
and I think three of them are gonna really help us and
have an impact on our team. (pucks dinging) – Everything we do is
with a purpose, you know, everything’s hockey specific. And, you know, we build into it so that we’re all feeling really good when the season comes around. So, I mean every single guy in that room has put in so much work and
so much effort this year, you know, it will be
worth it in the long run because we know we’re gonna be one of the most conditioned
teams and the strongest, you know, most in shape, and that’s when we’re gonna be able to take advantage of teams. – [Jerad] This time of year
the competition’s always high, guys fighting for
positions in the line-up. I think, this year especially, you know, it’s definitely
making everyone better on the team. No matter what spot
you are in the line-up, I think everyone’s valuing the competition and it’s making everyone better no matter, no matter where you are and I think it’s gonna help us as a whole. (skates scraping) – [John] Our goal as a
team this year obviously, win a national championship, Big Ten Championship, all that, but I think as a team we’re just focused on getting better every
day, day in and day out, you know, being the best
possible team we can be. First, you know, us could be, you know starting off with the Big Ten or non-conference extremely well. And then moving on to
Great Lakes Invitational, having a great showing there. It’s been a long time, if you
look up at the banners here since they’ve won that. So I think, you know,
especially for the senior class, it’s really something that you know we wanted to be a part of and be able to do. But if you look at our schedule, every single team that we play,
minus a couple, is ranked. So, you know, if we start winning
a lot of hockey games here which we will, then we’re
gonna find ourselves as national contenders, and, you know, that’s a spot that we wanna be in. So, that’s extremely
exciting and, you know, we’re looking forward to really
surprising a lot of people, and, you know kind of
being the underdogs here. (hockey sticks smacking) – Yeah, you know, coach’s
message to us this season is, has been to make sure that we play, play the way that we know how to play, and when we stick to the
things that make us great, you know, we’re a really successful team. And that’s playing the
right way, 200 feet, and putting together a
full 60 minutes, you know. We know that there’s a lot of
people doubting us this year and we’re kind of blocking out the noise and just control what we can control, and that’s the way we play. (playing hockey) (peaceful piano music) – [Darrell] The apartment
we live in right now, where I grew up at, spent
like some of my life, like I actually live in like
seven different apartments in this area. We’re in the Greenspoint
district right now. Right here, my apartment right behind me, one bedroom apartment. It was like four of us, five of us stayed in there with my mom. When I lost my dad, it was
a real tough part of my life because, I mean, I really
didn’t know what I wanted to do. I really wanted to quit playing football. I was like, man you know,
maybe this ain’t for me. Maybe I gotta, you know, get a job to help my mom with some bills. I was angry, real angry at the world. – I knew in eighth grade that he was going through a difficult time and he was trying to figure out himself, you know, trying to connect
with different people. But I could see him kind of turning for, down the wrong path. I can remember, I was coaching basketball and he was an extremely
good basketball player, but he just wouldn’t listen. And then I kicked him off the team. – I went, automatically
went to survival mode. And wanted even football, ’cause when you go into survival mode, you’re doing anything that
you know what I’m sayin’, to help you survive in the habitat that you
in, the culture you in, the community in. These connected with these apartments. And these apartments to the next of us, called Alba Court, one of my real good best
friends got killed there right before I went to college. I know one thing he
always told me was like, ’cause he was real good at football. His name was Tarell Payne. He always told me like, “No
matter how small you is, “no matter, you know, if you’re not, “you know good at something, “you should always work at it.” I mean, and we came from,
you know some real tough area and a tough neighborhood. But it was one thing, like,
I could always count on him, you know what I’m
sayin’, to show me a way, even though if he had to
take the opposite way. And that’s one thing he
always showed me is like, he ain’t want me to do the street thing. He aint want me to, you know,
carry the gun and sell drugs. He didn’t want me to do that. He wanted me to play football. (lively music) – Once last year ended, once
the play-offs ended for us, took a week and kinda reformulated and kinda got ready. And really, this season
started about a week after last year’s ended. And that was for the
coaches and the players. And the guys, they had a great spring. We got to work a lot
on the ice with skills and, you know, some concepts
that we wanted to get across. They had a great spring and
summer in the weight room. Coach Vorkapich did a great job. Hockey is a fast game and everything’s, everything’s based around speed and power, and that’s kind of the way
we set up our off-season. We implemented some new things,
just kinda kept buildin’. So when we got back, the
guys were really ready to go. And I think, you know, with this group, I just have a pretty good
idea of how we operate and how we have to do things. And, you know, culturally,
the level of work and the level of details
has really improved. And we’re excited about that
and I think that where we’re at compared to the first year, and
compared to the second year, I thought we really improved, and I think we will
again in the third year. (players practicing) – Did you bring your bathing suit today? – [Teammate] What? – Did you bring your bathing suit today? Just dipping your toes in? – Chemistry of lines, that’s a fun thing to
try and put together, and you have to try a
few different things. And, you know, we have some
pairs that we like together. You know, Khodorenko and
Lewandowski will be together. And, you know, we’re
kinda looking for a guy to play on the right side of
that line, or the left side ’cause Lewandowski can
play on either side. So on the back side,
it’s been pretty clear, the three years have been
kinda working together, and Dennis Cesana and Jerad Rosburg, they were together all last
year, had real good chemistry. You know, you work through that stuff and you try different things, and you try and keep it exciting, and you try and keep it
new for the guys every day in good tempo. We get four hours on the ice every week and I think so far
they’ve done a great job. I think the coaches have done a good job mixing things around. Now the guys are starting to get excited. They can see the game
coming up here pretty soon. They know we’re headin’ out on the road in just over a week, and
now it starts to feel real, and there’s a little more
excitement around the room before practices. You know, what I’ve talked about since I first got back
here in terms of, you know, it starts with recruiting and identifying the kind of players, and
athletes, and students, and character type people
that we wanna have here. Doing those two things has been good. And the buzz and the
excitement around the arenas, and around Michigan State
hockey has been outstanding. And then the third thing
was to get, you know, Munn back to bein’, you know a really exciting place to play. And we’ve had really good
increases attendance wise and, you know, we were in the top ten in the country last year. I think we’ll increase
that again this year. Then the expansion and get that going. And we’ve got a hole in the
ground and that should be ready for next year. I think the players feel it,
I know the coaches feel it, and I think people in the hockey community can see what’s happening here and it’s a good thing
to be around right now. – [Darrell] I saw my mom cryin’ one night and she was just, she was just, just tired
of like losing her car, and I can’t pay on it, losin’ another apartment
and had to move again. And this was like not even
staying somewhere almost a year, you like, gotta move again. So it was like, seein’
her cryin’, and it’s like, I’m like, man, something like,
there’s something I can do. And, like, lookin’ at football
and seein’ all the guys come back and I’m like,
man, I gotta do this. Seein’ my little brother and
little sister and I’m like, I’m like, I gotta be the
one that change something, open up opportunities for
different people in your family. Seein’ my mom cry that
night and she’s just like, “I really,” she said, “I just really
need you to focus in, “like, I need your help,
like I need you to, “if you’re gonna, if
you’re gonna play football, “let’s do it.” – The Darrell that was, you know, I’d say pushed back a little bit. That wasn’t the Darrell
I still haven’t met. That was the Darrell that
still was going through things at the young age and trying
to figure out his way. And, you know, to use sports as that path to get him back around,
that’s what I think helped get him back on
the right direction. (men greeting) – My coach, Coach Land, literally
sat me down in the office and talked to me for a good
three hours just about, just like, why a man shouldn’t just give
up because things get hard. You don’t run from adversity,
you attack adversity. And I was like, you know,
I wanna be different. I wanna to be, you know, the person that, I was kinda tired of livin’ in
the shadow of like, my dad’s and my older brothers and cousins. I’m like, I wanna to write my own history and show people that I can
come up here and do it. – [Tammy] I was so glad when he graduated because I knew he was leaving from here. You know, I look at a lot of his peers and people that he played football with. You know, he lost a close
friend and all of that. And I sit and think that
could have been him. And I was so glad, even
though Michigan was so far, but he wouldn’t been here. – [Jeremy] I was kinda
nervous for him at first, like movin’ from another state ’cause we never been out of Texas before. You’re like, man Michigan. And once he said he was good, we was good. And once he said, “yeah it’s cool, “you know what I saying,
I’m cool with the,” I was happy for him too ’cause I really didn’t want
him to be down here, really. (crowd cheering) – [Darrell] This school is
like, such an amazing gift to people ’cause it’s
like, it teaches you, teaches you so much. And that’s the variety of people around, and you learn so many things. It has been an amazing
experience being here just creatin’ that Spartan
strong and that Spartan family. (crowd cheering) – [News Reporter] Tonight,
the disaster in Texas, in the wake of Hurricane
Harvey, is deepening. Houston is a city in crisis
and now, a city of islands. The flood waters isolating
sections like you see behind me. – [Darrell] I call home ’cause I’m like, man what’s going on,
and everybody callin’. It’s the mid day, and
I’m lookin’ on the news and it was just like, “Hurricane
Harvey has hit this area, it hit this area.” And like, we stayed in an
apartment so it was like, it was like water all the
way to the third floor of the apartments. And the apartment building
was like super tall. You seein’ people, and like, laying on beds, sittin’ on the side of
refrigerators, floating. You see in the streets,
where you played at as a kid, like, just, just full of water, everything
just, cars overflowing. I’m gettin’ a call and I’m callin’ my mom but nobody answering. And I finally get ahold of
my sister and I was like, “What’s going on with everybody?” And they showed me the apartment. My grandmother like, she is
disabled, like she can’t walk, and then like there’s a, they literally have her bed with floaters. So they had to like, get
her out of the first floor, which was like completely
like, up to here. So people like, gettin’
everybody evacuatin’ out and, they tryin’ to move
her to the third floor. But I mean, the whole
apartment complex is deep water so the door’s hard to open. Everybody panicking,
like, turn on the news, seein’ my friends rescuin’
people, savin’ people, seein’ people drown,
seein’ all these things. And that really tested my faith, ’cause I’m like, why, why now? We finally get somewhere
where we finally can be happy. We’re finally a family, people
finally like, can come home and be kinda happy. It wasn’t much, but it
was something, you know. And seeing my Grandmother
almost losing her life, to just like, “Man what’s going on?” – You know, you never think
like I didn’t lose everything, you’re thinking about how
you’re going to get out. But after I looked at it, we had lost everything, everything. And then it was to go stay in a shelter or try to find family
members to go stay with. And there again, we were poor. (people chattering) – So about a week and I’m asking, like, man, I can’t go by myself. So once I told everybody
what I was trying to do, you had teammates like, “I’ll
definitely go with you.” I knew like, man, this
is more than football, it’s like a brotherhood. And they helped me go to Hurricane Harvey and, like, help my city
out, it was amazing. And that was like, a very emotional time. But it was a great experience seein’ like the joy in these people eyes as we help and do the things. It was our ball week, so
it was like a time for, where we were supposed
to like, relax and chill, get ready for the next week’s game. But Coach D like granted that. (faint talking and laughing) After the hurricane, she finally
found somewhere to live at. And it’s like, an actual house. Seeing that really put us in a place where it was like, family
being reunited together, like, I’d be on Facetime
seeing everybody just back in the living room eating,
joking, playing cards. It motivated me and it was just like, man, this is what it was all about. (people chattering) – These pictures on the wall out there, they heard about Darrell still, but to see him actually
come back, and give back, and speak to the kids,
I mean, it’s awesome. They can see themselves in him because he grew up in the same area, went to the same high school. And see him come back
and just went up there, and still, he kinda, he went to Nimitz. That gives them motivation,
gives them a sense of pride, and, you know, that’s what we need. – [Tammy] In a million years
would’ve never imagined we would be here. I mean, I’m so happy. I’m so proud of him. He did it, you know, he did it. – He have a bright future. He’s willing to do it, he’s able to do it, and he’s comfortable at what he do. – [Tammy] I know my husband is looking down on him and happy. I’m happy, you know, just
come back to the community with positive things. I guess he probably looked
at his self and said, “Look at me, with all I’ve been through, “and I still made it.” – [Darrell] I always think about that like what my dad would think, definitely happy, definitely would be. And definitely to me,
like, he’s here with me. I know he would tell me he loved me. Every time before the game start, I always look up in the stands
and I find that one spot that I know he would definitely be in and just give me that
head nod before the game and tell me, “Let’s go.” I just know he would be proud of me, and just be so happy of the
things that I’d accomplished. (mellow music) (rock music)

Spartans All-Access: Episode 208 | Michigan State
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