Posted by Eric Angevine
I've been impressed with the way Thomas Robinson has handled himself during his personal season in hell. As Gary Parrish noted today, he's standing tall for his nine-year-old sister, even when his own pain must be crippling right now. And, as lonely as he might feel at this moment, it's now more obvious than ever before that he is not truly alone in this.
I've written before about the Morris twins (above) and their motto of F.O.E. - "Family Over Everything". Jayhawk fans who traveled to Boulder to support their team made sure to include F.O.E. on signs they brought to the Coors Events Center, alongside magic-markered expressions of sincere love and support for T-Rob. A scholarship fund for Robinson's sister Jayla has been established for those who want to do something to add hope to the distant future. For now, the wound is raw, but the kindness of strangers who ache for this small family will be a comfort down the road.
Marcus Morris, who was with Robinson when he got the awful news, had his friend -- he also calls him "cousin" and "brother" -- in mind throughout the game, as he tapped the round, black patch sewed on his jersey before each free throw. The patch, bearing the initials "LR" for Lisa Robinson, was added to the Jayhawk uniforms before the road trip.
It's not just Robinson's teammates who support him, either. The capacity crowd at Coors -- said to be the third-largest crowd in the history of the building -- observed a moment of silence in tribute to the life and too-early death of Robinson's mother. It was a sincere moment of empathy for a member of the opposing team that has been the biggest thorn in CU's side throughout the time that the two have shared a conference.
Every member of the KU team will travel to Washington, D.C. to be with Robinson as he and his sister endure their mother's funeral tomorrow, with one exception. In a chilling coincidence, one member of the KU staff will be attending another memorial service that touches the Big 12.
Following the funeral, the KU family will gather again for Saturday's home game against Kansas State, then kick off February with a two-game road swing through Lubbock, Texas and a final visit to Lincoln, Nebraska. I wouldn't be surprised to see heartfelt support for Robinson in both of those venues, either.
The only member of the basketball staff who will not attend the services will be video coordinator Kyle Keller. He will take part in observances in Stillwater, Okla., marking the 10th anniversary of the plane crash that claimed the lives of 10 members of the Oklahoma State basketball program. Keller was on the Oklahoma State staff at the time and would have been on the plane that crashed if then-coach Eddie Sutton hadn't asked him to take another flight.
-Associated Press report
When tragedy strikes -- as it did for Robinson this week and for the Oklahoma State men's team a decade ago -- Family Over Everything becomes the motto of the entire conference.
Photo: US Presswire