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Dwayne Stephens Sr., the father of Michigan State men’s basketball associate head coach Dwayne Stephens, died Wednesday after contracting COVID-19.

A Michigan State team spokesman confirmed Stephens’ death on Friday.

Tom Izzo told Sports Illustrated’s Spartan Nation that Stephens became ill last week.

“I just feel awful for D.J. and his family,” Izzo said of his longtime assistant. “I feel awful for, of course, his dad and his brother who lives out in Virginia. It's been hard because you can't even be there for him when you need to be there for him. So, I talked to D.J. the last couple of days; he is working through it like we all have to do. Life goes on as they say but, I think you know, I'm sure a lot of people have run into this. But when it hits home, close to home, it always seems to mean a little more.”

Stephens just completed his 17th season on Izzo’s staff and played at Michigan State from 1990-93 when Izzo was an assistant.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau