Skip to main content

Lea Kearney: Mother's Love Keeps Basketball Star on the Right Path

Tom Izzo in the Kearney family has got a great playe from an even better family.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Tom Izzo in the Kearney family has got a great playe from an even better family. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.



Next fall, Michigan State will get some much-needed help in the backcourt. One of those players is Brandan Kearney from Southeastern High School in Detroit. The 6’6” G/SF has an opportunity to come in and make an impact right away. Often times, kids come to the college game more physically prepared than emotionally ready for the hype, pressure and attention that comes with college athletics. Brandan Kearney’s mother has had a lot to do with his preparation as a young man.


Lea Kearney is a proud parent. Her tone is kind. Her choice of words is humble and her job as “mom” is something that she takes very seriously. Education, discipline and hard work are staples in the Kearney household. She has a future basketball star living under her roof. That doesn’t change anything in her mind. If anything, it makes her more determined to keep Brandan on the straight and narrow before he arrives in East Lansing.

Scroll to Continue

Read More


We asked Lea about her son and specifically when she knew he was going to be something more than the average kid going through his days in the PSL. “Well, he started playing when he was about seven or eight. People were always using the word special. He’s special… that just kind of struck me.” 


She was quick to point out that it is Brandan’s relationships outside of basketball that define him. She wants Brandan to be respected as a person much more than she wants Brandan to be hyped for his game on the court. “People always say even outside of basketball, Brandan is a great kid… and that makes me more proud.” On a number of occasions she spoke about the importance of a college degree and what it will mean to her family when Brandan completes his education at MSU. “It is so important that they take an interest in other things… basketball won’t be there forever.” 


Lea Kearney has been a huge part of the recruiting process. She saw right away that she needed to provide her son guidance through the process and that his character would be tested as the accolades and attention came pouring in. Her son is the best player in the Detroit PSL. He is a gifted athlete that made his college choice early in the process when MSU first extended an offer. The early decision may have cost him some national media hype, but it probably helped him keep his head on straight. He has a mother who takes her job seriously. It is one of the biggest reason’s Brandan will be ready for the college game.