Sixteen members of Kansas University’s 2015 football recruiting class, which included former Shawnee Mission West standout Andre Maloney, who passed away in 2013 after collapsing on the sideline during a game with the Vikings, recently made a surprise visit to Cafe 29 in Overland Park, the restaurant run in Maloney’s honor by his mother, Rosaelida.
Maloney always told his mother that he would like to open a restaurant for her someday, and after his passing, she moved to make the dream a reality. The restaurant features all kinds of KU and Maloney touches and dubs itself as a “fine bakery and deli.”
“To have all of his boys here, it was just so special to see all of them,” Rosaelida said in an interview with Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.
But the surprise appearance was not just special for Maloney’s mother.
“It felt good to come in here and surprise her and put a smile on her face,” KU linebacker Josh Ehambe told Time Warner. “And let her know that she has more sons that play on the Jayhawk football team.”
Added Free State High graduate Joe Dineen, who will wear No. 29 in honor of his late friend and former foe: “She was really surprised. I think it was awesome. He’s as much a part of this as anybody is.”