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Amazing connection: Jets WR meets brother he never knew

Instead of watching football on the couch Sunday or flying home from a bye-week getaway, New York Jets receiver Jermaine Kearse used his day off to fill a void in his life.

He connected with his half-brother, whom he met only recently for the first time. It was the culmination of a search that took nearly a year.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Kearse spent the day in Hoboken, New Jersey, catching up over lunch with David Ashley, 34, who lives in Manhattan and works as a hair-styling instructor. They have the same father, but Kearse didn’t know about Ashley until after their father died. That was 11 years ago, when Kearse was 17.

“It was definitely different,” Kearse told ESPN, recalling Sunday’s meeting. “I mean, it’s a stranger who’s your brother. But he’s been real cool. [Sunday] was real nice. We talked a little bit, and I heard how he grew up.”5

“I knew of him and I knew his name, but that was it,” Kearse said. “Last I heard, he lived in California. But that was it.”

As his football career flourished — University of Washington, the Seattle Seahawks and the Jets — Kearse remained curious about his mystery brother. His curiosity piqued at the end of last season, when he brought up David in a conversation with his paternal grandmother. He was looking for any shred of information. She knew the name of Ashley’s mother, so he took that clue and researched her on the internet.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“Did a little more digging and found him,” Kearse said proudly. “I did the research and I looked him up. It was very impulsive. I had my aunt vet it to see if it was him. It was. She met him before I met him. He met my aunt and my grandmother out in North Carolina.”

Kearse spoke to David by phone in February, and they set up a brief meeting after the Jets’ home opener, Sept. 16, a loss to the Miami Dolphins. They exchanged pleasantries, but it wasn’t an in-depth conversation. That didn’t happen until Sunday.

“He was surprised,” said Kearse, recalling his brother’s reaction the first time he contacted him. “He said he knew about me. He said he never wanted to contact me because he didn’t want to be ‘that guy.’ I guess, with me being in the NFL, he didn’t want to be that random person who comes out of nowhere and says, ‘Hey, I’m your brother.’ Which I respect.