Russell Byrd to Transfer, Become A Mustang
May 21, 2014
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Russell Byrd of the Big Ten’s Michigan State University will transfer for his senior season to play for The Master’s College men’s basketball team.
“Russell is obviously a talent that will help improve our program, but even more importantly he is a person of high character who can be a leader on the court and in the locker room,” commented head coach Ken Sugarman. “With his size and skill set, he gives us great flexibility with the ability to play a bigger lineup with him on the wing, and also to go smaller and have him in the classic stretch four spot with his shooting ability.”
Byrd’s enthusiasm of being a Mustang matches Sugarman’s.
“I’m looking forward to playing for Coach Sugarman at The Master’s College,” commented Byrd. “I want to earn my playing time there and I do not expect anything to be given to me. I’m obviously excited about playing basketball, but what excites me most is the spiritual atmosphere at TMC. From the leadership that’s on the team to the administration of the school, I’m thrilled to be a part of it all. The program has discipleship and encouragement. While God cares about basketball, He cares about the heart more, and I’m excited to grow in this time.”
According to Michigan State’s team page, Byrd appeared in 23 games during the 2013-14 season and averaged 1.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per contest. On December 17, Byrd scored a career-high 10 points against North Florida after connecting on 4-6 shots, including 2-4 from three-point range. The former Spartan’s highlight of the season came on January 28 when he drained corner three-pointer with 34 seconds left in overtime to give MSU a six-point lead at Iowa (70-64), proving to be the clinching basket in a 71-69 victory.
Off the court, Byrd plans to major in Liberal Studies.
“I want to reach my full playing potential and be the player I can be on the court while growing to be the person God wants me to be off the court,” said Byrd. “Winning games is a priority at TMC, and the Mustangs play for championships. I don’t think I’m ahead of myself by saying this, but I want to help the team win a championship. Even though I’m playing for the Mustangs, I’m mainly playing to bring the Lord glory. It’s not about me, it’s not about the college, but it’s about bringing God all the honor and praise.”
The 6-7, 205-pound Fort Wayne, Indiana, native enters The Master’s College with one season of eligibility. Russell’s parents, Kelly and Kebra Byrd, are both alumni of The Master’s College. As a student, Kelly Byrd played two-and-a-half seasons for the Mustangs (1983-86) as a forward/center. Byrd is still No. 2 on the college's career field goal percentage list at 58.7%. Off the court, Byrd was the student body president during the 1984-85 school year.
“I am confident that he will be a great teammate and a strong Mustang representation to the entire TMC community,” further assessed Sugarman. “I am excited to see what God will do in Russell's life this year, and count it a privilege to have him be a vital part of our family.”
To learn more about The Master’s College men’s basketball program, click here.