Saturday, January 8, 2011

KU men’s basketball team supports grieving Thomas Robinson

Thomas Robinson's mother, Lisa, passed away on Friday, but Robinson is still in town and is expected to play against Texas.

Thomas Robinson's mother, Lisa, passed away on Friday, but Robinson is still in town and is expected to play against Texas.


Thomas Robinson felt the support of his Kansas University basketball family earlier this week in his hometown of Washington, D.C.

“My teammates and coaches have been the best,” said KU’s 6-foot-9, 237-pound sophomore forward, who headed home for the funeral of his grandmother, Shirley, before returning for practice Thursday afternoon.

“I wouldn’t say it has been easy, but I don’t think this situation would have been as smooth as it has been without them helping me, talking to me every day when I was home, calling me, checking on me. Definitely my teammates and coaches helped a lot, also the fans. A lot of fans wrote me on Facebook, Twitter. I appreciate that,” Robinson added.

Robinson spent one extra day at home to celebrate the life of his grandmother with family members.

“I wanted to stay and be with my mom. It was tough for me, but even more tough for her,” Robinson said. “I didn’t want to leave her. I thought it was the right decision. My team pulled it (Wednesday’s 99-52 win over UMKC) out without me, so that was good.”

Of his grandmother, Robinson said: “She was a great woman. She was strong. She never gave up, so I guess that’s what I got from her.”

KU coach Bill Self agreed it was best for Robinson to stay in D.C. a day after the funeral.

“As a man of his house, he said it was more important for him to be with his family. I totally agreed. I thought he should stay,” Self said. “It’s a little different role. Of course, he obviously is close to his grandmother. She helped raise him, with his mother, Lisa. He needed to be back there.

“I’m sure it was hard for him to come back, but he also has family here, too,” Self added. “He gets comfort from those guys, also. It’s tough for anybody to lose a loved one regardless of timing or what’s going on. I’m sure it’s heavy on his heart. He’ll deal with it.”

Senior guard Tyrel Reed said Robinson has the support of the entire team.

“He’s such a tough kid, such a good kid,” Reed said. “We’re really sad for his loss. As a group, we’ll stay around him and be there for him. I think he’ll be fine. I’m glad he’s out there with us.”

Robinson, by the way, was able to keep track of the KU-UMKC game.

“I don’t have ESPN3 at home, so I was watching play-by-play on my computer,” Robinson said. “It was a real good first half. From what I read, our press looked good. In the second half, we laid back a little. We need to be consistent with everything.”


David Reed 7 years, 4 months ago


While no words can help ease the pain of losing your grandmother.Just remember that not only do you have your blood family and your teammates and coaches but Jyhawk Nation is right there with you to help as much as possible to get through this very tough time

Alohahawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Thomas, We're all part of the Jayhawk family at heart and we all wish only the best for you and your family during this time of sorry. Remember her during each of your games, because your grandmother now has a front row seat and gets to watch you play all your games. Whenever you look up in the night sky, think of her as a star, always there, a sparkling light guiding the way.

gchawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Very said well said. Thomas, there are many out here who sincerely care about you. God speed to you.

JHWK 7 years, 4 months ago

Amen to that, TRob! We love you here as your very-extended family! All our strength is yours.

jayhawkintx73 7 years, 4 months ago


When my grandmother passed away, I was a freshman in college. It was not a good day. My cousin was her nurse and she was there and I found comfort in the words my cousin told me, which I cannot repeat here. What I can say is that my grandmother was ailing and in pain, and that it was hard to see her suffer and I was fortunate enough to have fond memories.

She owned a 67 Cuda. It was a fantastic car, and she loved it and took my brother and I for rides when we would go up to stay with her at least one weekend a month or she'd come down and stay with us one weekend a month. She was also a big Jayhawk Fan and told everyone to shut up so she could here Max on the radio while watching the game on TV. Oh, the 1988 championship was something else sitting on the sofa opposite of the end table between her chair and the sofa. These are just a couple of the fond memories that I have with her, among many others. These are the things that helped me find comfort, and I hope that you find those memories to bring comfort to you.

May I suggest that you become the person that she would want you to be, and maybe you already are. I don't know you personally so there is no way I can know. There is a future for you in a professional league called the NBA, and that success is something I'm pretty sure that she wished for you, and now that she's looking down on you from the heavens, she'll know and you can feel comfort knowing that when she looks down on you that she's smiling when she does it. In a way, that is the sweet side of losing someone you love.

Last thing I'll say. T-Rob, I have a heavy heart for your loss, but we do know what the sweet side is. Live like she'd want you to.

AverageCitizen 7 years, 4 months ago

Thomas- Sorry about the loss of your grandmother. Judging by your age, she was probably too young to go but who knows about when and why these things happen. I found comfort in all the friends and family that gave me a hug or had a kind word to say to me. Find as many of those people as you can and keep them close - even from KU fans that you don't know like us. We all wish you (and your family) a speedy replacement of painful memories from today by wonderful memories of your grandmother from yesteryear.

AsadZ 7 years, 4 months ago

T-Rob, Our thoughts and prayers with you during this difficult time. I am sure that she will be watching you play from up above. Sincerely,

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 4 months ago


Jayhawk Nation is with you. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family. You have made great strides this season, so far. Continue to play for her and she will be smiling at you from above. Rock the house at Ann Arbor tomorrow, buddy! Rock Chalk!

GabrielMichael 7 years, 4 months ago

We love you T-Rob! You make us proud in many ways!

Jeff Schartz 7 years, 4 months ago

Thomas, always remember that your grandmother will live on through you. You have her teachings, memories of her, and you carry her dna. So, in a way, she is a part of you now. God bless you.

Funhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

How true. The older we get, the more we become like our parents.

duanep5ku 7 years, 4 months ago

Thomas, take care and god bless you and all your loved ones in this trying time.

tasmanks 7 years, 4 months ago

Thomas, we all share your pain. The loss of a grandparent is something we all must face eventually, and many of us already have. It is always too soon.

Treasure the good memories of your grandmother and the pain will ease with time. You and your mother are in my prayers.

gchawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Amen to what you said, excellent post.

Dan Harris 7 years, 4 months ago

T Rob- Remember the good times you shared with your grandmother and she'll always be with you.

jayhawksbiggestfan 7 years, 4 months ago

God bless you and your family. Keep up the great work as we will need your God given talents every game.

Brian Powell 7 years, 4 months ago

T-Rob! Make her proud tomorrow, and every day.

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 4 months ago

We are with you TRob....a lot of prayers are headed your way

jaybate 7 years, 4 months ago

"Death Makes Us All Brothers"

(for Thomas Robinson)

When my grandmother died--the One I loved more than anything--the One that stayed up all night with me to Watch Neil Armstrong blow his line, as He set foot on the moon, I ran through the Cemetery crying as they lowered her in the Ground.

I went running over graves and stepping on
Low stones trying to flee the fist pain that Punched my heart and sucked my breath down Till I could not even gasp

No one but Galloping Gale, or my big brother could Have caught me that day that She was buried under the trees on Oak Hill Cemetery with the Marais de Cygne river bank trees snaking silently across the Ploughed brown bottoms As if draining the bottom of the grave she was being lowered in

But my brother finally did catch me, Down the hill Out of view of all the adults, Out of view of the minister And the pall bearers, And all those who didn't mean A damn thing to me at that moment

He caught me past the stones of the great grand parents we had never known, or cared about and I collapsed crying in his arms-- the arms that had pinned me down and hit me in so many fights over toys and games and who got the attention, and he said,"She's okay, she's alright..."

"But where is she, where is she?" I want to talk to her, I want her to tell how much I love her. I want to sit with her on the porch swing. I want to hear it squeak, and I want her to hold me again.."

And my brother held me and he said, "She can't do that anymore." And I said, "Why? Why can't she? "I want her alive, now, NOW!" And he shook his head, just shook his head and said, "That's not how it is, that's just not how it is?"

And we sat for a long time in the blue grass beneath the oak tree next to the stone of the great grand parents we had never known and nothing changed, she didn't come back, I didn't see her, there was no miracle, it didn't change, because I wanted it to

but the wind and the grass' rustling, and the few clouds drifting silently in the blue sky, They changed. And my heart finally Changed too I still don't know why

But he looked at me and I knew he had felt this same way when our other grandmother, the one I really did not remember much Had died. He had run through the stones, too, and my dad had caught him that time, but this time my father was too old to run after me, So he had sent my brother.

And from that moment on, this older brother that cast shadows on me like oak tress blocking the sun, he and I were equal.

Death makes us all brothers.

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