Kansas forward Thomas Robinson received the news on a phone call around 11 p.m. on Friday from his 9-year-old sister, Jayla. Their mother, Lisa, had died of a heart attack at age 37. This after Robinson had lost his grandmother three weeks earlier and his grandfather just last week.
The team has since rallied around the sophomore, and according to the Lawrence Journal-World, the NCAA is allowing the school to cover the funeral expenses while the team plans to fly charter to attend services.
"The first thing they (players) wanted to do was: 'Coach, tell us about Thomas' situation. Tell us about the arrangements. Tell us about his sister. What can we legally do? What’s the NCAA going to allow you to do? Is anybody going to go with him (to D.C.)? He doesn’t need to be alone.’ The whole deal was laying out Thomas," Self said.
Self informed the Jayhawks that director of basketball operations Barry Hinson would return to D.C. with Robinson on Monday -- the day of Robinson’s grandfather’s funeral -- and that the entire team would fly charter to the funeral. And that the NCAA would allow KU to pay for funeral expenses and even work on the arrangements in Lawrence.
Robinson did not make the trip for today's game against Colorado, and guard Brady Morningstar said Monday the team was hurting for him.
"You just have to be there for him," Morningstar said. "In no way could I imagine what he is going through right now. He is a 19-year old and having all that happen to him is just terrible, so you just have to stay close to him and give him your love and affection. We just need to let him know that it will be all right even though it does not seem like it now, but we are all here for him and he can just lean on us if he needs anything."