Kansas University’s basketball team charter touched down at Topeka’s Forbes Field at 5 p.m. Thursday as the Jayhawks returned from a safe, yet snow-and-ice riddled trip to Washington, D.C., for the funeral for Thomas Robinson’s mother, Lisa.
Robinson did not accompany the Jayhawks back to Lawrence.
He will return Friday with KU director of basketball operations Barry Hinson and be in uniform for Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against Kansas State.
Robinson’s sister, Jayla, who is actually 7, not 9 as has been presently reported, also did not return with the KU team. She will at the present time be remaining in D.C.
Self said that could change.
“We all want what’s best for Thomas and obviously for his little sister,” Self said. “But she has a father and family back home. Thomas obviously, as the big brother, would love to have her here. But that's a family decision. And they're going to have to decide what's best for Jayla.”
The weather provided many challenges on this just-concluded trip to D.C.
A snow storm in the D.C. area Wednesday delayed the KU contingent’s travel from Dulles International Airport to the team’s hotel. The team was originally scheduled to arrive at the hotel at 8:45 p.m., Eastern time, Wednesday, but the storm delayed the team bus, and the snow and ice-packed roads made travel slow. The team finally arrived at the hotel at 1:45 a.m., some five hours late.
On Thursday morning, Antioch Baptist Church, site of the funeral, had no power, threatening the cancellation of Lisa’s funeral services. Power was restored and the church was packed with 200 or more individuals.
“I will say this: The weather in D.C. when we landed yesterday ... it was unbelievable,” Self said Thursday after getting off the charter plane at Forbes Field. “It was unbelievable. It was as bad as I’ve ever seen. The roads ... I’ve never been in a place where you could go maybe 3 miles an hour or 2 miles an hour because of all the traffic and icy roads. Whenever you are on a bus, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to move.
“It was bad, but the guys (Jayhawks) are fine. It was such a good thing we were there for Thomas. I don’t think there would have been too much that would have stopped us from being there.”
Of the church, Self said: “There was talk of canceling the service because that area of town lost all electricity (from Wednesday’s storm). As of early this morning, we didn’t know if there would be a service. Fortunately everybody worked hard and put it together. It was a beautiful service. Everything went off without a hitch (after being delayed an hour or so).”
Selby comes back with Jayhawks
KU freshman Josh Selby also returned with the team.
Selby had planned on traveling from D.C. to Baltimore on Thursday for Friday’s funeral of a loved one.
“Maeshon’s (mother of Selby) godson — one of Josh’s best friends — was murdered Saturday,” Self said. “He found out as soon as the Texas game was over. He went back with the full intention and our full intention that he was going to stay and go to the service tomorrow, but with the weather situation and at the request of his family, they thought it was in his best interests not to go and come back with the team so he’s with us right now.”