Archive for Friday, January 28, 2011

Thomas Robinson thanks KU fans, well-wishers; Jayhawks focused on K-State

Kansas' Markieff Morris hugs teammate Thomas Robinson before taking on Texas on Saturday, January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse. Robinson's mother passed away the night before.

Kansas' Markieff Morris hugs teammate Thomas Robinson before taking on Texas on Saturday, January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse. Robinson's mother passed away the night before.

January 28, 2011, 7:47 p.m. Updated January 29, 2011, 12:00 a.m.


Thomas Robinson took a seat in Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self’s office prior to practice Friday afternoon.

The sophomore power forward had just returned from his hometown of Washington, D.C., site of Thursday’s funeral of his much-beloved mom, Lisa.

“We were sitting there talking about the next move, and he was asking me how he could thank people for being so nice with their thoughts and concerns,” Self said.

“We talked about that a bit. The next thing he said was, ‘How do we beat these guys?’’’ Self added of Kansas State, today’s 6 p.m. opponent in Allen Fieldhouse.

The first part of the conversation culminated in Robinson’s issuing a letter of thanks for KU fans — as well as well-wishers from other schools — who have supported him following the recent deaths of his grandmother, grandfather and mother.

Here’s the letter:

Dear All,

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that has been shown to me and my family over the past few weeks and especially this past week. I don’t know if I could have made it through the week without the support of my teammates, coaches, administration, KU and all the fans. As much as I would like to thank everyone individually, there have been so many cards, e-mails, texts, tweets and people on Facebook that it would be impossible. Trust me, knowing that people care so much for me and my family is helping us get through these tough times.

Though Washington, D.C., and Lawrence are many miles apart, the outreach from all across the nation has been incredible. I appreciate all the offers of support and cannot express how much it means to me to be a Jayhawk and part of this family.

My main concern is for my sister. Jayla is currently with her father in Washington, D.C. It would be comforting for my mother to know Jayla went to college and that is why we set up mom’s scholarship fund. Information on how to contribute to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund is below.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for the thoughts, prayers and support you have shown me, Jamah (step-brother) and Jayla. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

God Bless!

Thomas Robinson

As far as the other order of business ... Robinson and his teammates grabbing a batch of rebounds against a team (14-7, 2-4) with a plus-8.8 rebound margin would figure to come in handy today.

Self believes his Jayhawks (19-1, 4-1) are not too weary to do so, despite the fact they’ve traveled 3,000 miles in the past week.

“One thing we’ve got to do is get to some normalcy,” Self said. “Last night was a good start. We got after them pretty good at practice. I think they said, ‘OK, things are back to normal now.’’’

KU junior guard Tyshawn Taylor said Self was quite intense at a Thursday evening practice held shortly after the Jayhawks’ return from the trip to D.C. and Lisa Robinson’s funeral.

“He (Self) screamed: ‘We’ve got to get back to normal’ a lot yesterday,” Taylor said. “I mean, he’s definitely right because it felt kind of weird coming back late, practicing, then having to come back today, going to class.

“There’s been a lot. I feel I’ve been in the air and hotels more than my own room. Getting back to normal and our regular schedule is going to be good for us,” Taylor added.

Senior Tyrel Reed admitted it’s been quite a physical and mental grind of late.

“Our trainer was saying we’ve been in Mountain Time (at Colorado on Monday and Tuesday), Central Time, Eastern Time. We’ve been all over the place here recently. We got back last night. On the plane we were all tired, but at practice I thought we were focused and had a good practice,” Reed said.

The Jayhawks have won five straight games and 10 of the past 11 versus KSU. KU has won four in a row and 15 of 16 versus the Wildcats in Allen Fieldhouse.

Senior Brady Morningstar, who like Reed is a native Kansan, said there’s quite a bit of incentive today, not just because ESPN GameDay is in town.

“It’s, win it for everybody. Win it for Thomas. Wayne (Simien, who will have his jersey No. 23 hung in the rafters at halftime), the fans, the town, everybody that doesn’t like K-State, everybody,” Morningstar said.

Proving smiles have returned to KU’s camp, Morningstar had a quick quip when asked if the Jayhawks had any gas left in the tank following such an emotional week.

“We filled up last night when we got back, so we’ve got three-fourths of a tank left,” he cracked.

Here’s the fund Robinson was referring to in his letter to well-wishers:

Contributions can be made to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund, for the benefit of 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. Later on, a website will be made available for contributions as well.


BobtheBuilder 7 years, 3 months ago

Thomas: Your work ethic and class is something I respect immensely. I personally am very sorry for your loss and wish you and your sister the very best. I know there are times when you will wonder why did this happen to me. Keep the faith in your God, your teamates, your coaches, and your friends. Great things happen to great people and you are certainly one of those people. I hope to say hello to you someday, not because I'm a basketball fan, but because I admire the way you have handled your tragic situation. God Bless!!

AverageCitizen 7 years, 3 months ago

TRob - Thank you for the letter. While there are thousands of stories like yours everyday, I don't know them but I know YOU. While I don't know you personally, you have entertained me immensely these last two years. You are the face of my school and your actions make us proud. You are a player who works his butt off for the team. You are a student who practices when others have free time to party. You are a player that has to listen to criticism in addition to well wishers. You brighten the day for me and every other fan that follows you from a far. You bring us pleasure when watching you play. Your accomplishments, in a small way, feel like our accomplishments. That is why we embrace you. May each day be lighter and lighter for you young man.

fancy80 7 years, 3 months ago

TRob, Words can't express the sorrow I feel for you and your family. Please know that your fans, friends, teammates, coaches, etc. want to help in any way possible. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I'm positive that your Mother and Grandparents are looking down upon you and are so proud of you.

The bible tells us: Blessed are thosoe who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

I pray that , with time, you, Jayla and Jamah will find peace with your mom's passing and be able to celebrate her life and all the things that made her wonderful. God Bless you all.

rgh 7 years, 3 months ago

God bless you Thomas and your sister and step-brother. What most people won't realize is that this will not affect them for a week, month, or even a year. This will affect them for the remainder of their lives. We can only pray that it will eventually help them for the better and not worse. As long as the KU nation continues to give their support to this family with the caring they've shown so far, they'll be fine. Hopefully Jayla can get some stability either in her current school living with her father or in Lawrence living with T-Rob. Thanks to the nation and KU family for stepping up for this kid and his sister.

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