Archive for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Funeral plans set for Thomas Robinson’s mother

Scholarship fund created to benefit younger sister

January 25, 2011, 6:39 p.m. Updated January 26, 2011, 1:12 a.m.


Funeral services for Lisa Robinson, mother of Kansas University basketball player Thomas Robinson, will be held Thursday at the Antioch Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. (1105 50th Street NE). Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. (Eastern), and the funeral follows at 11. The KU basketball team will be attending the services.

The family of Lisa Robinson is asking that, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, contributions be made to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund, for the benefit of her daughter, Jayla, c/o SNR Denton, 1301 K Street NW, Suite 600, East Tower, Washington, DC 20005-3364. The Scholarship Fund will be administered by Christopher “Kit” Smith of SNR Denton US LLP and other fiduciaries selected by SNR Denton. Contributions to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund are nondeductible for tax purposes.

KU coach Bill Self is thrilled about the formation of the fund.

“Attorneys were working on it today. From what I understand, they have allowed Thomas to start a scholarship fund in Jayla’s name,” Self said. “The bank will be the executor. She’d be eligible for it when she reaches college age, which is cool. I’d hope they could get a lot of assistance.”

KU officials stressed this fund is not just for KU fans to contribute to, but anybody touched by Robinson’s story. KU has been allowed by the NCAA to pay funeral expenses.

“The NCAA has been unbelievable and responsive in a quick way,” Self said. “We understand they have rules. They are trying to make as many allowances as they can. We run everything through them. In his situation, the NCAA is looking out for the student-athlete’s welfare. I can’t say anything remotely negative about the way they’ve handled it.”

Self said the roughest thing about this situation is, “There’s nobody else Thomas has (besides 9-year-old sister),” Self said. “Our guys (players) know that. The whole deal Friday night (in meeting at Robinson’s apartment after he heard his mom died) was, the players said, ‘He doesn’t deserve this.’

“Of course, nobody does,” Self added. “Bad things happen in life.”

Self said he didn’t know where Jayla would live.

“Jayla is in second grade,” Self said. “We don’t know what’s going on. I’m sure there are some legal ramifications that have to take place. We are not saying what’s best for her. We don’t know what’s best for her. All I know is, I want Thomas to be comfortable (with) what is best for her. Thomas is all she knows. Hopefully we’ll get things worked out, and everybody can move forward in as positive way as possible.”


ResQd 6 years, 10 months ago

My condolences to the entire family. I wish I could just reach over and give him a hug. It's so wonderful to hear that the entire team will be there to support him.

JHawker 6 years, 10 months ago

Journal World - Could you please provide the information for how the Jayhawk Nation can support Thomas Robinson? I saw some information real quick about it during the game, it'd be helpful to have that here. Thank You.

SeaBee 6 years, 10 months ago

Great show of support by the team!

My sincere condolences to Thomas.

Melanie Birge 6 years, 10 months ago

My sincere condolences to Thomas and the family.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 10 months ago

Email for Mr. Smith to encourage setting up online payment.


BigPrune 6 years, 10 months ago

It's good the team can attend. Who is paying for the trip? I only ask since one of the things Larry Brown did that got KU in trouble was paying for a player's airfare to attend a funeral. Surely the NCAA would allow it. I hope everything works out for the best for the little girl and Thomas.

ralphralph 6 years, 10 months ago

This is a very sad situation, and we hope for the best for Thomas and his sister.

It might fall into the insensitive area, but what is the connection to "SNR Denton", which seems to be an "international law firm" ? It seems like if you wanted to raise money in the Lawrence area, people might be more comfortable sending or delivering a check to Douglas County Bank or some other locally known institution. Is there some alumni connection at SNR Denton, or did Mrs. R work there or something? It just seemed odd to have "international lawyers" overseeing donations for a little girl.

alfie 6 years, 10 months ago

They allowed Thomas to start a scholarship fund (for Jayla) where the bank would be executor,” KU coach Bill Self said. “She wouldn’t be eligible for it until she reached college age, which is pretty cool.”

Self was asked about what is going to happen to Jayla, who like Thomas has lost her mother and grandparents in the last month. Self said Lisa has a step-brother in Washington and that Jayla’s father, who is not Thomas’ father, is also in town.

“All I know is I want Thomas to be comfortable with what’s best for her,” Self said. “Thomas is all she knows.”

Self was also asked how the NCAA has handled all of the costs associated with the funeral.

“The NCAA has been unbelievable,” Self said. “They are trying to make as many allowances with the rules as they possibly can.

“In this situation, when there is as much hardship as there is, I think the NCAA is definitely looking out for the student-athlete welfare.

Read more:

alfie 6 years, 10 months ago

Lisa Robinson died Friday night in Washington, D.C., of what is believed to be a heart attack. She was 37 years old and was raising a 9-year-old daughter, Jayla. Lisa had lost her both of her parents in the last three weeks, and Self said that she had been experiencing migraine headaches in the aftermath.

Around 11 p.m. Friday, Jayla called Thomas and told her older brother that their mother was gone. Thomas told his teammates, who told his coaches, and within minutes most of the Kansas basketball program was gathered in Robinson’s Jayhawker Towers apartment. Players called their mothers, too.

“That probably was everybody’s first thought,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s mother, Jeanell, raised Tyshawn in a tough environment in Jersey City, N.J., that is similar to the world Lisa braved from the time she was a teenager raising Thomas and Jayla as a single parent. Jeanell has since moved to Lawrence, and she was there early Saturday morning, rubbing Thomas’ back and trying to provide him the comfort only a mom can bring.

“It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen in my life,” Self said.

Players cried, Self cried, everybody cried.

Read more:

onehawkoneshock 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, SNR Denton is a large "international" law firm. The attorney, Christopher "Kit" Smith that will oversee the fund created for Jayla is a KU alum and has an impressive resume. I'm sure that there are numerous legal issues in D.C. that Thomas Robinson will have to deal with and hopefully Mr. Smith has volunteered his services as part of the Jayhawk Nation.

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