Minneapolis Kansas University junior guard Tyrone Appleton, as reported in Saturday’s Journal-World, attended the funeral of his buddy, Dennis Williams, on Saturday in Gary, Ind. Appleton will be back for today’s game against Dayton.
“It’s tough, real tough. I understand how he feels. I told him to keep his head up, he’s got to think of all the good things (about his friend’s life),” KU junior Mario Little said.
KU coach Bill Self noted that Williams, who was murdered, is the cousin of future KU player Elijah Johnson.
“It happens, you know, far too often. Of course once is way too much,” Self said, asked about the shooting deaths of young people today.
“Last year we had two individuals (Darnell Jackson, Rodrick Stewart) who had family members that were murdered in drive-bys the same week. So this is a unique situation as well. Certainly, you can have the most innocent of bystanders, which was the case in this particular situation, that put themselves at such a wrong place at the wrong time and totally incidental, not planned and all those things.”
“And so we do, I think as coaches, you know, not just basketball coaches, coaches of football or whatever sports where you recruit guys from inner cities, not just always inner cities, but predominantly so, that you have situations like this that can occur.
“And it does put a perspective on everything. Because basketball is important and of course it’s why we’re all here and all that kind of stuff, but it is not certainly life or death, which a lot of these guys go through and we just kind of pass it by as it is not that big a thing, and you know that these guys are really, really hurting inside.”