Thursday, October 6, 2011

KU basketball mom Angel Morris to receive ‘Life Saver’ award

Kansas University forwards Marcus Morris, left, and Markieff Morris, right, flank their mother, Angel, inside the Westin Times Square in New York on Wednesday, June 20, 2011. Angel was the first recipient of Headquarters Counseling Center's Life Saver Award.  The center is seeking nominations for its 2012 recipient.

Kansas University forwards Marcus Morris, left, and Markieff Morris, right, flank their mother, Angel, inside the Westin Times Square in New York on Wednesday, June 20, 2011. Angel was the first recipient of Headquarters Counseling Center's Life Saver Award. The center is seeking nominations for its 2012 recipient.


Kansas University basketball player Thomas Robinson described Angel Morris as a second mother.

“Without her, I don’t know how I would have gotten over it or through it,” he said during a telephone interview after practice Wednesday.

Robinson’s mother, Lisa, died of an apparent heart attack last January, within a month of the deaths of his grandparents.

Morris, mother of former KU basketball stars Marcus and Markieff, stepped in to help in any way she could.

“It was truly devastating. That night was very hard. It was very hard,” she said. “He (Robinson) carried a lot on his back and I just talked to him, and we got through it. It was a long and hard process.”

Before Lisa died, she asked Morris to watch over her son. It’s a request that Morris continues to honor.

Morris said she talks to Thomas just about every other day on the phone and gets after him about his schoolwork.


Headquarters Counseling Center is having its fourth-annual fundraiser called Life Support Refresher from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at Maceli’s, 1031 N.H.

The event will include a silent auction, live music, cocktails and international dining stations.

Angel Morris, mother of former Kansas University basketball stars Marcus and Markieff Morris, will receive the center’s first “Life Saver” award. She is being honored for her sacrifice and selfless actions to help others, including KU basketball player Thomas Robinson and his younger sister after the death of their mother, Lisa Robinson, last January.

Tickets are $50 for one or $80 for two and are available for purchase online at or at the door.

Headquarters provides free and confidential counseling, education and information 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

“I know that his mother would want him to get a degree,” she said.

She also enjoys cooking for him and had him over to her Lawrence home just a couple of weeks ago.

“He just came and hung out with me, and we talked. We even cried at one point. He has his days, and I have mine too,” she said.

It’s that unwavering support that has led Headquarters Counseling Center to honor Morris on Friday as the first recipient of its “Life Saver” award.

Marcia Epstein, director, said Morris was chosen because she embodies Headquarters’ mission to provide unconditional life support to people in crisis.

“Our mission is about safety and emotional well-being, and we are trying to help people feel better and be safer,” she said.

Thomas Robinson, 20, said Angel Morris is “very deserving” of the honor. He described her as a genuinely caring person who doesn’t look for anything in return.

“She took me in and treated me as if I was her own kid,” he said. “She helped me get over that hump with everything that was going on.”

Today, he said they are closer than ever.

“She is my biggest supporter. … I love her for that,” he said.

Angel Morris plans to attend as many KU basketball games as she can while juggling her own sons’ NBA basketball games. She’s also taking care of her mother in Philadelphia who has been ill. She said she won’t miss Late Night in the Phog, the season’s kick-off extravaganza set for Oct. 14, and cheering on Robinson.

“He’s doing good, real good,” she said. “I’m so proud of him.”


justinryman 10 years, 9 months ago

Very deserving!!!

Hope she stays around Lawrence and "mothers" more young men who need it.

What a wonderful thing she has done and is doing.

God Bless you Angel Morris

Funhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Stories like this really make a person's day.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow, Angel you are an angel, bless you.

How's little sister getting along in Balt. is she okay, I realize we must respect her privacy, and don't want a story, just to know it's okay for her.

So many of us are blessed and a ton of folks are hurting, I try to work a food kitchen once a month and fail at that goal, I try to work an overnight chaperone at a homeless shelter once every 14 weeks and fail there also, yet when I serve it brings everything into perspective.

For all of us, don't forget charity, if you have been given abundance, or even a bit more than you need, remember others with a bit of what you have. Here's your call to share some of your time, talent or treasure.

I apologize for my soapbox.

Funhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Good reminders. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

SaulGood 10 years, 9 months ago

You should never have to apologize for encouraging others to do good in this world. Thanks for being one of the people who respects that even though the Robinsons are celebs in Lawrence, that they're people, too and that some things are simply not for us to know. I will try to follow your example too!

John Myers 10 years, 9 months ago

Never has a woman been more appropriately named.

@lighthawk - good for you.. I often think about how I need to get out and serve, and it usually stops with the thought.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

ask if your town has IHN call the director and say "what if I help out one evening every 14 weeks what would that look like" and see what you get in an opportunity. Homeless with no felonies, usually kids too and on the way back to work and self sufficiency, not just a perpetual handout, that is what I found in this organization. good luck finding 'your' service.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 9 months ago

I bet that everyone on her team would bend their knees when they shot free throws.

lee3022 10 years, 9 months ago

A hearty thanks to Angel who has shown she has earned this honor several times over. KU has many wonderful assets for its basketball program and Angel is right up there with the best.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 9 months ago

This story still tugs at the heartstrings. She is truly deserving to be honored.

And she will likely be able to make it to a lot of KU games, considering the current NBA lockout situation.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

every recruit should go to dinner at her house, she gives them the heart test find out if they have the 'want to' if she says they can play for us, I'm good with that.

Alohahawk 10 years, 9 months ago

In Hawaii, the word "Aloha" has multiple meanings: Hello, goodbye, love. "Angel" would seem to fall into the same category: Multiple meanings, all of which are synonymous with heartfelt love behind them. During Thomas's ordeal I remember reading of how you were there to support him, and felt gratified that we have such strong support, not just from the Jayhawk's as a team, but from their immediate families as well. I'm sure the entire Jayhawk Nation fully supports and congratulates you on this well deserved award. My aloha goes out to you.

Alohahawk 10 years, 9 months ago

<p> just announced that the Big 12 has invited TCU into the conference, and that TCU is seriously considering it.

kranny 10 years, 9 months ago

KU ties aside, what a wonderful human being. The world needs more Angel Morrises.

Funhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

This song reminds me of Angel Morris: Song title: "Angel" by Aretha Franklin.

FLJHK 10 years, 9 months ago

Nice work by all posters and blessings always to this wonderful woman. F.O.E.

jayhawktalk 10 years, 9 months ago

Angel is fantastic, even more amazing when considering the effects her example has on others, as demonstrated by the comments here. Inspirational.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 9 months ago

I am speechless by this article and everyone's comments. ROCK CHALK Jayhawk Nation!

Scott MacWilliams 10 years, 9 months ago

What a gem in Angel Morris. Here's hoping that she is able to live in Lawrence for a LONG time!

I just had a thought, how many people would line up for her autograph if she was sitting at a table at Late Night??? I'm guessing a few THOUSAND!!

Bless you Angel, and thanks for everything you have given our Jayhawks!!

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

I know how important an organization Headquarters is, and remember them from my time at KU. And honoring someone like Angel Morris is a perfect way to both give credit to a tremendous individual and help a worthy organization. What a great story.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

put her on the payroll, team housemother.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Hello recruit welcome to camp allen. This is our gym, we don't have a dome, palace or arena, we have this gym, we play games here and have since 1957. If it ain't broke don;t fix it. See our banners for conf. championships and final fours and titles, unlike other schools we don't hang elite eight banners. See the jerseys on the south wall, they are Final Four MVP or Two time consensus all americans or NBA first round draft choices. Many outstanding players we appreciate don't have their jerseys on that wall. This is mama Morris, she has three boys in the league, two by birth and one sort of adopted, you will have dinner at her house 1-2 times a month, listen to her, she is wise. She will want you to work your tail off on defense and try to lead team in assist n rebounds, , and she will tell you to listen to coach. Your real mom maybe 1,000 miles away, but if you are fortunate to get any playing time, Mama Morris will be rooting for you. Your job is to make her proud. Many are called, few are chosen.

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