Michigan State’s Kenny Goins lands scholarship

David Goricki
The Detroit News

It’s great to be Kenny Goins these days.

After returning with Michigan State’s basketball team from its trip to Italy, Goins was given the news by MSU head coach Tom Izzo on Thursday afternoon that he earned a full scholarship.

Goins, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound small forward, came to Michigan State a year ago as a preferred walk-on after landing a spot on The News all-state team, averaging 21.1 points, 14.8 rebounds and 4.8 blocks during his senior year at Warren Mott.

“Coach Izzo told me today at 3:15,” Goins said of the scholarship offer. “He said I had a good summer and it would help my family. Words can’t describe how happy I was. I just smiled, couldn’t talk.”

Goins received more than a handful of full-ride offers coming out of high school, including Central Michigan, Detroit, Oakland, Buffalo and Bowling Green, but it was his lifelong dream to play for the Spartans.

“I grew up a Michigan State fan, tailgated at football games since I was 6,” Goins said. “I tried to battle my thoughts between free college and playing over my dream, but I just had to follow my dream. And, now this. Things couldn’t have gone better.”

Goins redshirted last season while Michigan State advanced to the Final Four, losing to Duke in the national semifinal. He hopes to get some playing time this year.

“I’m definitely ready to play,” Goins said. “Hopefully I’ll get my shot. We had a great season last year and playing in Italy against pro teams and national teams definitely strengthened us for the upcoming season. We’re always striving to get better. We’ll be looking to pile up as many wins as we can building up to March.”

Of the trip to Italy, Goins said: “I showed my parents pictures, telling them that it really doesn’t do justice to the real-life experience, the food, the sight-seeing. Venice was my favorite, taking a water taxi down the Grand Canal to our hotel which was on an island … unbelievable. It was an overall great experience for everyone.”

Mott coach Jeff Olind was thrilled for Goins.

“I’m so proud of him,” Olind said. “He’s earned it.”