Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/8/12
For many, Michigan State University is not only a school, but it’s a culture. A culture of people who represent and stand for the same thing, Spartan Pride. From East Lansing to San Francisco, and all the way to Germany, this culture of people represent the green and white in all four corners of the world. By now, I’m sure that many are aware that the Michigan State basketball team will be tipping off their season tomorrow against Connecticut in a game that will be played at Ramstein Air Base in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. However, even though the Michigan State Spartans are 4, 000 miles from home, isportsweb’s David Harns reports about a Spartan family located at Ramstein that will be be doing more than just cheering on their team. Captain Ryan Natalini, from Plymouth, Mich., and his wife Captain Amy Natalini, from White Lake, Mich., both graduated from MSU in 2003 and now call Germany their home. Capt. Ryan Natalini works in Security and Law Enforcement and Capt. Amy Natalini works in Intelligence. Together they have a 2-year-old daughter named Mackayla. Mackayla has never seen a basketball game, much less an MSU basketball game, but here she is (middle), looking on from the baseline in a recreational center on Ramstein Air Base, watching as players three times her size run drills for Coach Izzo and his staff. MSU captain Russell Byrd even stopped by during a layup drill and gave her a high-five. Her parents were beaming with pride. Capt. Ryan Natalini, daughter Mackayla Natalini, and Capt. Amy Natalini at a recreational center on Ramstein Air Base watching the Spartans practice. While in college, Ryan and Amy both attended many games. They were in the Color Guard and presented the flags before the game. But they never dated at MSU. “I knew I loved her from the moment I met her,” Ryan said. Amy replied with a smile, “I took a little convincing.” The couple, who’ve been married for six and a half years, have been excited for the game ever since they found out on ESPN in June that the Spartans would be playing UCONN in the inaugural Armed Forces Classic. Not only does Ryan get to watch his favorite team up close and personal, he is the official escort for the Spartans. “Its amazing the dedication and skill these players have toward the game of basketball,” Ryan said. Ryan will represent the Air Force to the team, and his job is to answer any Spartans’ questions and make their stay here as nice as possible. Life really does come full circle, as 9 years later, after graduating from Michigan State and embarking on a career that would take them all over the world, the Spartans have come to them. It’s now his job to make sure that the Spartans are given everything they need to succeed. They’ll both be there tomorrow night,  cheering on MSU just like they were in college all over again.              
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Giants pull $60 million offer to Jason Pierre-Paul

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Report: DeAndre Jordan was tired of Chris Paul's antics

Marcus Smart eager to show full skill set with injury behind him

Geno Smith: Brandon Marshall is 'a quarterback's best friend'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: NFL executive questions hype around Sam Bradford

Raiders coaching staff excited about running backs

Braves reportedly aren’t keen on trading Cameron Maybin

Rory McIlroy suffered injury in soccer game with friends

Jason Kidd to be named general manager of Bucks

USWNT romps Japan 5-2 to win third Women's World Cup title

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Dwyane Wade: I'll retire 'when I can no longer play'

How Matt Ryan became “Matty Ice”

The long road of an NBA second-round pick

Jameis Winston visits Miami teen in hospital with condition

2015 MLB first-half all-surprise team

World Cup Final smashes ratings records

Tsunami survivor fulfills dream by signing with Sporting Lisbon

Andre Johnson reconnects with Chuck Pagano by joining Colts

Lou Williams bolsters Lakers backcourt, but trouble remains

MLB teams who will continue to disappoint in the second half

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.