Jenison Field House hasn't held a men's basketball game since 1989, but it will play host to Michigan State and Tuskegee on Saturday as the Spartans look to commemorate a 1963 NCAA Tournament game that held significance in the civil rights movement.
Jenison Field House will host its first men's basketball game since 1989 on Saturday -- and likely its last game ever -- in a commemoration of the building's role as host to the 1963 "Game of Change" between Loyola (Illinois) and Mississippi State.
The Spartans will face Tuskegee, a historically black Division II school suggested by Mark Hollis for their ties to the Tuskegee Airmen, who trained in part near Detroit. They had originally intended to play Loyola, who started two black players in the 1963 regional final in a game against a Mississippi State squad that snuck out of their home state to play the game due to rules preventing them from playing integrated teams. However, Loyola instead opted to play a game against Mississippi State on the same day, moving their game against Michigan State to this past Saturday.
It took a "major undertaking" to prepare the stadium for another game, indicating the school likely won't consider it again. Jenison held men's basketball for almost 50 years before the opening of the Breslin Center, playing host to Magic Johnson and other Spartan greats, and still is active for sports such as volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling, and indoor track. But its basketball days are over, with the exception of Saturday's significant matchup.