Originally published January 24, 2011 at 09:43a.m., updated January 24, 2011 at 10:32a.m.

Self: Thomas Robinson will not make trip to Colorado with team

Self expands on Robinson's situation during Big 12 teleconference

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson pulls back for a dunk during warmups prior to tipoff against Texas on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. Robinson is dealing with the loss of his mother, Lisa, who died Friday according to Kansas University officials.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson pulls back for a dunk during warmups prior to tipoff against Texas on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. Robinson is dealing with the loss of his mother, Lisa, who died Friday according to Kansas University officials.


Kansas coach Bill Self said Monday morning that sophomore forward Thomas Robinson contacted him Monday and has now decided he will return to Washington, D.C. and will not attend Tuesday's KU-Colorado game in Boulder, Colo.

"He wants to go home to be with his sister," Self told the Journal-World Monday morning. "Yesterday he thought it would be best for him to stay and go with us, but he really feels he needs to be with his sister. He'll go back (to Washington, D.C.) today. The bottom line is Thomas needs to do what he needs to do, and we're all here to support him."

Thomas' mother, Lisa, died of an apparent heart attack on Friday.

Self expanded on the situation on Monday’s Big 12 teleconference.

“He initially thought, ‘I’ll stay with the team.’ He talked to his sister. She wants him home. She needs him home. He’ll go home today,” Self said.

“Depending on when the services are, more than likely Thursday or Friday, we will all attend that, whenever that is,” he added of the team attending Lisa’s funeral.

“He’s been a rock. He’s been a rock for all of us. It’s been a pretty emotional time. He’s done remarkably well considering everything that’s going on in terms of the responsibility he’s about to take on. But certainly it’s a pretty trying time. It puts things in perspective. The world doesn’t stop moving. We have to make the most of all situations. Certainly Thomas needs to be with his sister right now. We all feel that way," Self added.


Scott MacWilliams 3 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Robinson, I cannot fathom the depth of loss that you must be feeling. I know that you are young and strong, but there are some burdens that are just too heavy.

Please know that we are all hoping that you find comfort and release from your grief, and wish you and your sister all the best in the future. LIsten to your heart and let it lead you.

Basketball is just a game with some ups and downs. For my part, I hope that you consider all of us Jayhawks, from all over the world, as part of your extended family and support network. Our hearts go out to you.

Peace be with you.


Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

This is so heartbreaking. My thoughts are with TRob and JaylaRob. My god...2 funerals in 2 days for them (Tuesday Gpa, Thursday Mom). Very classy comments by Self, and also taking the entire team to D.C. on Thurs for her funeral. Perfect perspective given by Mr. Self in his comments above.

Beautiful comments of support by most above. I wish some others would (please?) see the "bigger" picture...(as outlined by Self in the story above). RCJH.


newtown 3 years, 3 months ago

We Tea Party members see this as nothing but social welfare, and just one step from communism.


kufankam 3 years, 3 months ago

this may have already been mentioned, but i think that there is one jayhawk, above all, who could really help by talking to trob - DARNELL JACKSON. i know that darnell is probably thinking of trob and if he hasn't contacted him yet, he probably will. when that happens, trob should be all ears because darnell has come close to walking in trob's shoes. as all of this has happened, i can't help but remember my heart breaking for all darnell had to deal with. now, it is like the rain is pouring all over again. i hope that trob can flourish in life the way that darnell did/has. i, in no way, am trying to parallel the "2008 tragedies turned nat'l title run" to this year's tragedies. i am strictly talking about life - i hope that trob can dig deep somewhere and find the strength he needs to cope and proceed with his life.... i hope that he finds someone named darnell who has had to dig to that very place before. thinking about trob and praying for him and his sister.


kevz87 3 years, 3 months ago

We all are pulling for you Thomas. Jayhawk nation loves you. Just do what you need to. You are in all our thoughts and prayers Thomas. We all have your back in any decision you make we all will support you. You teammates don't just end at the end of the bench. You have 16,300 teammates every home game.

My prayers are with you.


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

If anyone wants a few laughs, come over to jaybate's gallery of College Basketball Paintography and watch jross1972 throw some internet tantrums, because I won't post my paintographs when and in the number that he wants. Its pretty funny reading. He appears to be acting like some combination of a self-appointed vigilante of the Internet commons and Dr. Phil.

See jross1972 call jaybate "pathological." Surf in to see if he turns out to claim to be the first, self-trained, clairvoyant psychiatrist alleging diagnoses for free on an internet sports web site.

See if jross1972 confesses that he is used to getting his way at home and infuriated when someone uses the "no" word to him.

See if jross1972 (or jaybate) has a nervous break down, because jaybate is posting jpeg images to his gallery faster than jross1972 likes.

See if jross1972 can use the phrase "god-complex" more that ten times in one post.

See if jross1972 is going through some kind of psychological crisis in his own life that he will confess to on Oprah, or Dr. Phil.

See if jaybate defend jross1972's right to have his iTantrums in jaybate's gallery of College Basketball Paintography.

See if jross1972 can get enough clicks and make enough posts to get his blog back up the cue.

This is entertainment at its very best!!!

And its all free.

I will be posting some of my replies to his posts on my gallery and other in his blog, and still others out on the story threads.

jross1972's blog is called in "A Crimson Quill on Campanile Hill," in hopes of helping him with his click count. :-)

Yeeeeeee Hawwwwwww!

The link to jaybate's website is: :

jross1972's blog link is:


babyjay1 3 years, 3 months ago

I am so proud to be a Jayhawk right now! My heart breaks for TRob and his little sister... I cannot imagine what it would feel like to suddenly have no adult family members left in your immediate family. No one to call, lean on, share your excitement over a win with, graduation from college, etc... I also have to say that was appalled at a "friend of a friend" who is an MU grad and his reaction to what he called "our excuse for playing a bad game and losing". It was pathetic and completely insensitive. I have always felt that Jayhawk Nation was the best and now I am completely sure that we are the best fans, best "family" around!!! Rock Chalk and TRob, please know that our prayers are with you and we will support any decision you make at this point in your young life.


1stnamemistermiddlenameperiod 3 years, 3 months ago

"He’s done remarkably well considering everything that’s going on in terms of the responsibility he’s about to take on."

I haven't read every comment but has anyone considered that Robinson is gone for good? Didn't Darren Hancock leave for a similar reason? "Responsibility he's about to take on," sounds as if he's making a life decision.


Brian Conrad 3 years, 3 months ago

NCAA let us know fast. this family needs help and many that would step up in a heartbeat. please find a way to help this young man.


Ed Brown 3 years, 3 months ago

Great story keithmiles05! Today I could not be more proud to be a Jayhawk. Enjoy booting Colorado right out of the Big 12. One nation...crying tears of blue. RCJH


Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

My apologies for interrupting this heartfelt thread for TROB, which makes me proud to be a Jayhawk, but since LJW has not posted a separate article about the new rankings, I just had to post.

#6 for Kansas looks about right. Scroll down to the bottom of the rankings. There at 12-7 is Michigan State at # 25. WTF is that about!! And we talk about the East Coast bias...looks like it is more widespread than I thought!!

Sorry, I just had to get that out.

Hang in there TROB.


newtown 3 years, 3 months ago

shame on ku for delaying TR's return home.


KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

Feelings spilled out within the group regarding both basketball and the grief they felt over Robinson’s plight.

“We all were down from things, and I felt it had a big effect on the game,” Morris said. “We just wanted to get that game out of us and talked about family.”

And among KU’s basketball family, sorrow still runs deep. That family is quite extended, too. Friends of Self who live in Texas offered to move to Lawrence and seek guardianship of Jayla without ever meeting Robinson or his sister. Others offered to go to Washington and help in any way possible.

“It’s amazing to me how connected people get to our guys because they see them as one of their own,” Self said. “That’s one of the great things about playing here, and I think Thomas sees that now more than ever. But there will be no definite answers for Thomas until he knows what’s best for him and his sister.”

Meanwhile, the season continues, though Self insisted the Jayhawks’ priorities rest with Robinson.

“Basketball is a byproduct that we are fortunate to participate in because of these guys. But these guys come first, always,” Self said. “We’ve got to get back to basketball, but not at the expense of not doing what we should do from the big picture.”

The big picture, of course, is Robinson, who showed his character, and his resolve, by playing against Texas.

“The day of the game,” said senior guard Tyrel Reed, “he told us, ‘Hey guys, I don’t want you to treat me any different. That showed so much maturity.”

Of course, that was difficult. A moment of silence before the opening tipoff brought some of the Jayhawks to tears during the national anthem. Then, as Self put it, the team ran out of gas against the powerful Longhorns, who took over the Big 12 lead and are now ranked seventh.

Now, as KU moves forward, it does so without knowing when Robinson will return.

“He’s been a rock. He’s been a rock for all of us. It’s been a pretty emotional time,” Self said. “He’s done remarkably well considering everything that’s going on in terms of the responsibility he’s about to take on.”


KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL LAWRENCE — The long strides Thomas Robinson made Monday between the locker room and the basketball court in Allen Fieldhouse were quiet, yet purposeful.

The practice Kansas conducted was Robinson’s last basketball exercise for as long as he deems appropriate.

As the Jayhawks head for Colorado and a 6 p.m. game Tuesday in the Coors Events Center, Robinson will fly home to Washington, D.C. There, he will join the last surviving member of his family, sister Jayla, and together they will cope with the death of their mother, Lisa Robinson, who was stricken by a heart attack Friday at the age of 37.

“Thomas said initially he positively wanted to go to Boulder,” KU coach Bill Self said. “But I think that was out of emotion, and after visiting with his sister last night, she’s 9 years old and she wants her brother home. When he’ll rejoin us I don’t know. Whenever he does is fine with me.”

Barry Hinson, director of basketball operations, accompanied Robinson to Washington, D.C., and will help with numerous arrangements. Funeral services are tentatively scheduled for Friday, and the team will fly to Washington that morning to be with their sophomore teammate.

The NCAA granted Kansas permission to help with funeral costs.

During the past three weeks, Robinson also lost a set of grandparents. Funeral services are scheduled Tuesday in Washington for his grandfather, who died Jan. 16.

Self acknowledged the Jayhawks (18-1, 3-1 Big 12), who fell to No. 6 in the rankings following Saturday’s loss against Texas, are “emotionally spent.” In Colorado (14-6, 3-2), they face an improved team coached by former KU player Tad Boyle. The Buffaloes, and their exceptional wing tandem of Alec Burks and Cory Higgins, figure to be energized by a full house designated as a “blackout.”

Still, the chief concern for Self and his squad is Robinson’s welfare.

During a team meeting Sunday, players were consumed with details about funeral arrangements and how they could help their teammate.

“Then I said to the guys, that’s most important, but life doesn’t stop,” Self related. “We played a game yesterday. Do you guys want to look at it and see what we can learn from it from a basketball standpoint to get your mind off some other things?

“And Markieff (Morris) stepped up and said, ‘Coach, we’ve got to be able to do both.’ So I thought that was a pretty mature deal.”


UmbertoConforti 3 years, 3 months ago

You made the right decision. God Bless.


PhogAdvisory 3 years, 3 months ago

Glad to hear he's going back with his sister. We'll miss him for the game but he needs to do what's best for him and his family. Even though I've never met him, I just feel awful for TRob and his sister. Strange how players can get to feel like they're part of your extended family. (I'm sure everyone here knows what I'm talking about.) I can only imagine how difficult this must be for him and those closest to him.

Great posts from nearly everyone showing the compassion and understanding of a true fandom. F.O.E. seems to be the rallying cry of the entire Jayhawk Nation, and I'm so proud to be a part of this basketball family. Hopefully the folks at AFH West can provide the same support for the rest of the team tomorrow.


vahawkfan 3 years, 3 months ago

My prayers go out to Thomas and his family at this difficult time, hang in there we'll be here when you get back..


Dyrk Dugan 3 years, 3 months ago

frankly, it would have been stunning to me if he would have stayed here, or came back early or whatever. he needs to be with his family....there needs to be some stability with his younger sister...and there needs to be some sort of work done on Thomas's short term and long term future.

i can't imagine what you're going through, or already what you've been through...but we're praying for you. please, take all the time off you need. and our team for tomorrow night, needs to win the game for you and your sister...let's have a for TRob week for cryin out loud....Go Jayhawks!


actorman 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting post, Uptown. I was wondering about the possibility of T-Rob transferring closer to home, like say Georgetown. I would of course hate it if that were to happen, but how could anyone blame him for wanting to be close to his sister. On the other hand, it would be great if there were a way for him to move her to Lawrence so he could stay with both of his families. It's hard to imagine how tough a time this must be for him.


Ed Brown 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow, still just in shock over what this fine young man is dealing with. It is almost a catch-22 though because he will need financial help and you don't get much of that playing college ball (except at Kentucky :P) and then there is the longer term decisions related to raising your 9 year old sister on your own. If he moved his sister to Lawrence then she would be taken care of by many but he won't be able to play college basketball because of the help. Hopefully the NCAA will rule quickly and compassionately as they have at least once before.

TRob, we have shed a few tears for you, young man, as well as spent a lot of time praying for you and your sister. I am seriously considering going to the funeral if there is enough advance notice, wearing a nice blue Jayhawk tie so you know no matter what...we have your back! God bless you.


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

In times like these, it is good to work the problem, and think hoops and distract with some humor. Having commented on the problem, and distracted with humor, I will now try thinking hoops.

~Once again we see why it was important not just for Mario, but for the team, to bring Mario back. Life and basketball are long stretches of the unforeseen and its aftermath, punctuated by brief bouts of the orderly and predictable. Mario Little, your number in the lottery has just been called. Mario, this is why you never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up.

~Lyrics for all the KU players, coaches and fans...

"That's Life" --by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon --as sung by Frank Sinatra

"That's life, that's what all the people say. You're riding high in April, Shot down in May But I know I'm gonna change that tune, When I'm back on top, back on top in June.

I said that's life, and as funny as it may seem Some people get their kicks, Stompin' on a dream But I don't let it, let it get me down, 'Cause this fine ol' world it keeps spinning around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, A poet, a pawn and a king. I've been up and down and over and out And I know one thing: Each time I find myself, flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race.

That's life I tell ya, I can't deny it, I thought of quitting baby, But my heart just ain't gonna buy it. And if I didn't think it was worth one single try, I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, A poet, a pawn and a king. I've been up and down and over and out And I know one thing: Each time I find myself laying flat on my face, I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life That's life and I can't deny it Many times I thought of cutting out But my heart won't buy it But if there's nothing shakin' come this here july I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die My, My

~Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, the fates are moving you both onto the big stage also. I still say sit out another game to get that akle "healed," not just sort of functioning. Little and Withey can pick up the slack against CU. The CU game could be a perfect coming out party for Jeff Withey. But Travis, we need you for the next game. B e ready.

~It is going to be cool seeing Tad Boyle coach. Time flies. Turg already has his own tree! It will be fascinating to see if Tad's team plays more like Larry's gangs, or Roy's, or Turg's. Or if 4 years at N. Colorado has enabled him to generate his own style already? Talk about some good pedigree. Tad Boyle may have been the coaching hire and deal of a lifetime for CU. Now, Bill, beat him bad, so he understands there is more to learn from The Legacy, now that you have built your addition to it!

Rock Chalk!!!


GabrielMichael 3 years, 3 months ago

Thomas may the Lord bless you and keep you; may He make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you; may He lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.


Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

Nice comments related to TRob ..

Off topic, but saw this quote on an article about Chalmers getting the starting 1 spot with the Heat:

"During his tenure with the Heat, the mercurial point guard has shown a flair for the dramatic, sometimes at the expense of more fundamental play. Spoelstra spoke about the challenges of utilizing Chalmers as the team's primary point guard. It's been a steady battle and process with [Chalmers]," Spoelstra said. "He has great instincts to make plays defensively. I don't want to completely handcuff him, but he has to do it with an IQ and a discipline to our system. That has to come first."

I would not have expected this comment about a former Self player, especially one that seemed like a disciplined system guy.


Selbyville 3 years, 3 months ago

It's crazy what Thomas is going through right now. Take as long as you need, the grieving process is important and he has a full plate. Thomas, I think it goes without saying that you have the full support of Jayhawk nation, along with your team and family, of course.

Keep your head up big man. Come back full strength.


kushaw 3 years, 3 months ago

Man, what a rough weekend and last couple of week's for T-Rob. T-Rob needs to take all the time he needs. I can't imagine or even comprehend the amount of pain he must be in. I'm happy that he's going to be with his little sister. She needs him.

This is one of those times where I'm really glad to be a Jayhawk fan. It goes so far beyond the game of basketball. With that said, it's amazing that such a wonderful game like basketball will eventually be the healing grounds for T-Rob and his little sister. It really made me proud that the entire Jayhawk team is going to be present at the services. RCJH and you are all in our thoughts, T-Rob.


DCSven 3 years, 3 months ago

T-Rob -- our thoughts and prayers are with you -- you are an amazing young man. Know in your heart how proud your mom and grandparents are of you, and carry that with you always. The responsibility you now have would not be yours if you didn't have the strength to carry it. Your athletic skill is not your only strength, and we are all witness to that. God is with you, your mom's spirit is with you, and your Kansas basketball family and friends and fans support you always. Grieve, mourn and allow the love we all feel for you to steady you when you return.


zsn 3 years, 3 months ago

At the end of the day, everything related to basketball is about "A GAME". It is supposed to be "play". What T-Rob is going through is about LIFE. It is unfortunate that many can't/won't make that distinction. A young man needs to deal with what LIFE throws at him in order to play a GAME.

It is heartening to see the most posters here as well as his friends and teammates are able to see that difference and support T-Rob during these tough times - first his grandmother, then his mom! I know I would have crawled up into a ball on Saturday, than make any appearance in public. Sympathies and support to him and his family I hope he finds the courage and strength to comfort his family, deal with his academics and then play basketball - in that order.


rockchalk80 3 years, 3 months ago

TRob, I doubt many of us truly understand what you are going through (losing 3 loved ones in less than a month)... but all of us are pulling and praying for you and your little sister.


REHawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Hang tough, TRob. Brighter days ahead. You've not only the support of the Jayhawk Nation, but many fans of Big 12 opponents have expressed concern and best wishes. Please take a look at the posts accompanying KC Star articles.


hawkfan4life 3 years, 3 months ago

T-Rob, I pray for strength, consolation, and stability for you and your sister. My heart hurts so much for you buddy. Trust in the fact that God doesn't make mistakes, and that the whole Jayhawk Nation is pulling for you. Thank you so much for your kindness, handshake, and autograph earlier this school year when I met you. I wish I had more eloquent words, I am so very sorry.


kkoenig 3 years, 3 months ago

glad there is nothing but support for Mr. Robinson, in and outside the program.

a little off topic:

Back in early January on this board, JHawk241 recommended "Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine" by George Dohrmann. Hit the local library and found the book to be an excellent read. It follows Demetrius Walker [now at New Mexico] and other players (Pe'shon Howard [Maryland], Roberto Nelson [Oregon State], Andrew Bock [Creighton]) as they move through the AAU ranks in California. Focus is on AAU "coach" Joe Keller (founder of the Adidas Phenom camps) and how the grassroots basketball system works. You get a few glimpses into the recruiting world too (Tim Floyd doesn't come off like much of a stand-up guy).


Woody Cragg 3 years, 3 months ago

Quite likely the shock won't wear off for awhile and it will take some time off for his thought process to clear. Confronting this head on is the way to go. Most all of us old farts have been through these times in life that even get worse to deal with the older you get. Losing children, parents faling health & minds, it all sucks more the older you get. But you have to lean on faith-really hard to sustain your well being. Is easy particularly for young people to take a wrong turn at these junctures & TRob is blessed to have the fiendships & support he's receiving. There's not much you can say, but just being there 24-7 is paramount.


Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

TRob, you'll only miss a couple of basketball games as opposed to giving your sister and your family your presence and your strength. This is a decision I wouldn't change if it were challenged a 1000 times.

The team and Jayhawk Nation will be here whenever you get back. Your family needs YOU now.

Well done and kudos to Bill who places the good of his player's family above his team's won/loss record without hesitation.

Ben and Deandre, I hope you are reading these columns and are realizing what doesn't show up on the recruiting blogs.


d_prowess 3 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone know the family situation for his sister? I felt like I heard on the radio before the KU game against Texas that his little sister was with her dad after the death of their mother. Was that wrong, or does she have a father that is different from Robinson's?


TRUEBLUEKU 3 years, 3 months ago

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


Thomas Michaud 3 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely correct decision on T-Robs part to be with his sister and family ... My thoughts and prayers will be with them.

I also appreciate ready all the posts that have been made here on his behalf. I can only half-imagine the grief after nearly losing my own mother to a heart attack and the stress I went through on her recovery.


jhwkfan162515 3 years, 3 months ago

Do what you need to do, T-Rob. We're here for you through thick and thin.

Join my new FB group to support him.!/home.php?sk=group_141103462617520


wi_jayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Praying for you T-Rob and all the guys! My thoughts are with you and your Sister! I can't imagine your pain, but thank God that you have the support of the band of brothers that is your team and your coaches!


saad007 3 years, 3 months ago

God bless you TROB! Our thoughts and prayers with you and your little sister! Please realize that the entire Jayhawk Nation is supporting you! You are an amazing young man. Stay strong buddy!


packywacky88 3 years, 3 months ago

Times like these remind you how important family is. Jayhawk Basketball is the greatest show on earth, but it is just a game. The support show by the players, coaches, and the fans make me proud to be a Jayhawk. God Bless the Robinson Family.


wn1127 3 years, 3 months ago

Adding my best wishes and support for Thomas Robinson and his family as they move through this time of grief and loss.


Keith Hummel 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like he made the right decision. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your sister Thomas. I'm so sorry for your loss.


KU_FanSince75 3 years, 3 months ago

Good for him for going back to be with his little sister in D.C. We'll do alright in Boulder, T-Rob. Don't worry about us. Take your time. God Bless---Jayhawk Nation is behind you!


KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

Smart decision by TRob. Bless his heart.

Very, very proud Self is taking the lead in helping him guide through this process and sending a staff member. Such uncharted waters and glad to hear he is being proactive in helping TRob.


TaCityHawkFan 3 years, 3 months ago

Be strong and take comfort in knowing the entire Jayhawk nation and family support you! Most of us can never imagine what you and your sister are going through and how hard this is but we are all here for you.


Hank Cross 3 years, 3 months ago

God bless the Robinson family. That poor little girl must be sad and terrified beyond belief. TRob needs to look after his sister and should know all the Jayhawk Nation supports him and his family 100%.


Theutus 3 years, 3 months ago

Be safe in your travels T-Rob... I hope this is the last of the tragedy you have to face for a very long time...

Whole thing breaks my heart.... I sure hope the NCAA see's fit to allow some people to step in and help out where they can, even if there is a strict set of rules attached to it.


Randy Maxwell 3 years, 3 months ago

My heart hurts for young man and his sister


davelass 3 years, 3 months ago

Hang in there T-Rob...can't imagine what that feels like but you have a town in Kansas that will be here to support you when you get back..


clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 3 months ago

We are all pulling for you TRob

Rock Chalk


newtown 3 years, 3 months ago

Good for TR to stand up for his rights and to tell Mr BS that there are things bigger than b-ball.


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