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Originally published January 18, 2010 at 12:00a.m., updated January 18, 2010 at 01:22p.m.

Two Jayhawks in mourning

Aldrich, Collins lost grandparents prior to victory over Texas Tech

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against  Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Jayhawks rip Red Raiders

Kansas claimed its second conference victory against Texas Tech on Saturday. The home victory extended the nation's best home-court winning streak.

Last weekend was a tough one for Kansas University basketball players Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins.

Junior center Aldrich’s grandmother and senior guard Collins’ grandfather died Friday, a day before the Jayhawks’ 89-63 victory over Texas Tech.

“We didn’t make it public, but Cole lost his grandmother Friday night late, and Sherron lost his grandfather,” coach Bill Self revealed Sunday on his weekly TV show. “It was kind of a unique day for those two players. Cole did not know until after the game. Sherron knew right before the game. We had kind of a celebration in one area (after victory), then you’ve got guys actually dealing with real-life things going on.”

Aldrich’s grandmother, Ann, had been suffering from lung cancer and had been in hospice care back home in Minnesota. Fewer details are known about Collins’ grandfather, who had been ill in Chicago.

“He’s an absolute stud,” Self said of Aldrich, who had been worried about his grandmother’s condition all first semester. “It’s such a blessing he had such a good relationship with his grandmother. It’s a tough deal.”

Self said Sunday he did not know if Collins and Aldrich would return home for memorial services this week.

Aldrich busted a recent slump by scoring 14 points against Tech.

Aldrich grinned when asked if “the real Cole” had returned on the offensive end, evidenced by his 3-of-6 shooting and 8-of-9 free throwing.

“I sure hope so,” said Aldrich, who had combined for 13 points in the last two games — a loss at Tennessee and a victory at Nebraska.

“It’s been a little frustrating. The guys have been trying to get me the ball. I haven’t been delivering. Finally,” he added of putting together a double-figure offensive performance.

“It’s one of those things they’ve been getting me the ball down low. I’ve got to keep finishing like I did. Coach really talked to me about getting back to the free-throw line. Tonight I was able to get back there, and it was good.”

Self was encouraged by Aldrich’s offensive effort.

“We got the ball to him, and he made some nice plays and some nice moves,” Self said. “Still, his man (Darko Cohadarevic, eight points) had some nice moves on him.”

Aldrich, who averages 10.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, has 62 blocks — 35 shy of Greg Ostertag’s single-season record mark of 97 set in 1993-94.

Aldrich has 190 career blocks, and, depending on how many games the Jayhawks play this season, has a shot at catching four-year player Ostertag, who is the KU career leader with 258.

“I’ll try to continue to block shots and play the best defense I can,” Aldrich said. “When I get the opportunity to score, I just have to deliver.”

Self said, “I think so,” when asked if Aldrich, who had battled bronchitis a month, was close to fully healthy.

“I’m not going to put anything on his health. He’s had a lot of things on his mind, obviously, with his family-health situation. He doesn’t use those as excuses. He’s ready to roll.”

KU will meet Baylor at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

• Self clarified after his weekly press conference Monday that it was Collins' great-grandfather who died.

Comments

jakejayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Sherron and Cole, you and your loved ones are in my prayers, and I'm sure in the prayers of all of Jayhawk Nation. Life events like the ones you are experiencing put everything else in perspective. Take time to grieve and heal. Thanks for all you do to make our program the best in the nation.

JayhawkRock 10 years, 8 months ago

We all love Cole and Sherron. God bless them and their families. Lets put on a show against Baylor on Wednesday night! I hope Cole is here to stay with his scoring and we all know Sherron will be back on Wednesday.

SaltyJayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I lost my grandpa in 2008. I know it's really hard. you guys have my deepest sympathies.

number1fanfromillinois 10 years, 8 months ago

Rest In Peace. I am so sorry for your loss. Let's hope this inspires a great performance from both on Wednesday. Rock Chalk

Steve Brown 10 years, 8 months ago

tempus fugit: our time is short, let those you care about know it now.

stuff is nice, yet it is relationships, family, community have value.

peace.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure I speak for everyone who has ever posted comments here, good or bad, about both of these guys, The great majority of us have never and will never even so much as shake their hands. We watch them from our seats at the games, in our homes and in watering holes near and far. They are part of our team.

Now, under the circumstances, they feel a little like family as we share their grief in the way we can, from near and far. Any criticisms, that have been made negatively, were not because we know them and are judging them as we would people we truly know. Those comments were generated from watching them play the game of basketball. As they deal with their losses, we respect them and have resolved any perceived judgements about character, etc. within the scope of their roles as basketball team members.

Deal with your losses and we'll be here with you guys!

NH_JHawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I know I speak on behalf of Jayhawk Nation when I say that we send our condolences for your losses. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers. Thanks for being part of our family.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

shinguard 10 years, 8 months ago

Sherron and Cole,

I lost my last grandgarent when I was in college and it was also very difficult. So believe me when I say my families prayers go out to you and your families. Grandparents are simply amazing. They don't have to love you, but they do. In their presence you truly feel their unconditional love. They don't ride you the way parents tend to but they believe in you all the same. Take time to grieve. Take time to remember. Take time to cry and take time to laugh.

The Meaning of Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;

To earn the respect of intelligent people and to win the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate the beauty in nature and all that surrounds us;

To seek out and nurture the best in others;

To give the gift of yourself to others without the slightest thought of return, for it is in giving that we receive;

To have accomplished a task, whether it be saving a lost soul, healing a sick child, writing a book, or risking your life for a friend;

To have celebrated and laughed with great joy and enthusiasm and sung with exaltation;

To have hope even in times of despair, for as long as you have hope, you have life;

To love and be loved;

To be understood and to understand;

This is the meaning of success.

nocaljayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I, too, have lost dear grandparents, and it's bloody hard to deal with. But it will get better. Remember the good times: I still smile involuntarily when thinking about my late grand-dad (it's happening now, in fact) and the sound of his laugh, the dirty jokes he appreciated, and his disdain of Mizzou. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Ben Kane 10 years, 8 months ago

bhann,

I don't think that comment has any place on this board. If you were a good christian you would pray for them regardless of their religious affiliation.

Craig Colgin 10 years, 8 months ago

Cole and Sherron, you guys are the best, we appreciate you so much, and we will keep you and your families in our thoughts and prayers.
Cherish the memories as we all do, and although you aren't exactly family to us, it certainly feels that way at times. Me and my family got our first chance to attend a KU basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse just last year, Jayhawks vs Oklahoma State, My son and I are sitting in the stands waiting for the second half to start, and I get a text from my wife that her and my daughter think they found the KU locker room entrance, and could they stay and see for sure. Of course, I said they should, and just a few seconds later, My 10 year old daughter, was getting a high five from our Leader, and my personal favorite Jayhawk, Sherron. It is a memory that she will never forget.
So during this time, when you have no choice but to deal and live with this real life situation, I hope you will remember that as members of Jayhawk Nation, we feel the sorrow of your loss, and we cherish you in our hearts forever as family!!

MrPilot 10 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts and prayers are with both of you guys. Stay strong.

bradynsdad 10 years, 8 months ago

i was lucky enough to really get to know my grandfather the year he past away. this was the time when he tought me about god. i hope you both have great memories like i do. god bless and my prayers are with you.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 8 months ago

Sorry for your loss, Cole and Sherron! Thought and prayers are with your families. Peace be with you both!

hawk316 10 years, 8 months ago

Earlier lighthawk posted this:

tempus fugit: our time is short, let those you care about know it now. stuff is nice, yet it is relationships, family, community have value.

I wholeheartedly agree, but I would take it one step further. If you're in an estranged relationship with a family member...parents, children, siblings, or a friend, do everything you can to make things right. Try taking the first step toward reconciliation and be open and willing to truly forgive. As Don Henley sang so poignantly, forgiveness is really "the heart of the matter."

Martin Shupert 10 years, 8 months ago

The only thing I have to say about cowards who use these chat areas to attack people when they are down about something is, when their comments are rightfully removed, all record that they ever made such comments should be removed too. After a day or so, remove the announcement "This comment has been removed...." I don't even want to know someone was that stupid.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

Cole and Sherron..... do the one thing you have control over in dealing with the loss of your beloved grandparents..... dedicate the remainder of this season to them. Let their love be your inspiration.

PS .....and kick every a$$ wearing a different uniform that dares to walk on a court with you

VegasJhawk09 10 years, 8 months ago

My sincere condolences go out to Cole and Sherron who both lost close family members a couple days ago. Best wishes to you both and remember your fans are always thinking of you. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

duanep5ku 10 years, 8 months ago

I think bhann showing you love in respect to those two Kansas player's in your post is fine but if you continue to bad mouth the players on a regular basis like Cole in most of your past post on this site. bhann you current post might just come off as a little hypocritical now.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Martyks -

Attacking people when they are down is hardly what I typed. I related a story to my grandfather, who used to scream obsenities at the Iran Contra television coverage in the 1980's. The LJW either really likes Oliver North, or hates even a masked version of 'G. D.'

Thanks for running your mouth - I appreciate the chance to clarify myself.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 8 months ago

bhann: It doesn't surprise me. Those that would censor your kind words have a deep insecurity and/or intolerance. What I have found is that in life, those that profess to protectors of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, specifically .. liberals (and perhaps those that operate newpapers).. are those most intolerant of positions that oppose their own.

martyks: Perhaps you jumped the gun a bit.

All of our thoughts and pryers are with Sherron and Cole. ("" to avoid censorship)

Scott Lippoldt 10 years, 8 months ago

bhahn: I'm a Christian, too--but there's a time, a place, and a forum--and it's not here. While I wasn't offended by your post, I definitely did not think it was appropriate or in good taste. Also, personally I'm not sure why you are getting so uptight about the violation of usage agreement or the responses from other posters. After all, aren't we taught to turn the other cheek? And, if what DuaneP said is right (I haven't paid attention to your previous posts), then that truly does come across as hypocritical. I would suggest next time that you just offer up your prayers and well wishes for the family and let it go at that.

bradynsdad 10 years, 8 months ago

its nice to see the posts could be turned from blessings and prayers to arguments. i think it would be nice for everyone to bite their tongues and just think about the players we care about for right now.

jcsmith 10 years, 8 months ago

Wow. This blows my mind. Who would have thought our two All American players would have lost a grandparent on the same night. Very sad.

Thoughts and Prayers to both gentlemen and their families.

Make a pact now. Use these losses to feed your fire gentlemen. Turn a negative into a positive. Take time to mourn, but dedicate this season to your lost loved ones. Win or lose, family is very important and cannot be replaced by a basketball. But i guarantee it will mean all the more if you win it for this reason.

duanep5ku 10 years, 8 months ago

bhann I did not see your post that got removed from the site. so I was not commenting on that, but I have noticed some of your recent post about Cole. I responded to one of your negative Cole post the other day only because you were talking about what he was not doing on the court. I just gave the other side of the spectrum as to what Cole means to the program. I was not calling you out at all but I was pointing out just how important Cole was to the team, bhann you brought out the bad points on Cole game this year so I just added the positive side of his game to that post, To be fair and balanced. Cole's defense still means more to KU winning this year then his negative side A double,double is still better then good. I also agree this post should not be about arguing with each other, which I am not doing It is about Sherron and Cole and there recent loses I would also like to wish both of you my deepest condolences on your recent loses and to thank you both for being a part of the Kansas family

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