Angel Morris, the mother of former Kansas University basketball forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris, received Headquarters Counseling Center’s inaugural Life Saver Award on Friday night at Maceli’s.
She was honored for her sacrifice and selfless actions to help others, most notably KU junior Thomas Robinson and his younger sister, Jayla, after the death of their mom, Lisa, last January.
Robinson and the Morris twins attended the ceremony, as did former KU forward Mario Little, assistant coach Kurtis Townsend and Townsend’s family, plus Cindy Self, wife of KU coach Bill Self.
“It’s important to us that the Kansas basketball family be here to help honor a person who has meant so much to us. She has done an unbelievable job raising two bright young men,” Townsend said.
“Miss Angel was kind of the designated team mom (the last three years). There are times I’d call her on the phone and our guys would be over at her house. She’d be cooking for them and giving them the motherly love they sometimes miss when they go away to school.
“I think it’s been well-documented the thing that moved all of us the most is what she did for Thomas in his time of need. When somebody is suffering, the real person, the real human being comes out. For Angel to put her arms around Thomas and make him feel he still had somebody as close as his mom was touching. She is a great human being,” Townsend added.
Angel is planning on spending a significant amount of time in Lawrence in the future as well as her hometown of Philadelphia. She also will regularly visit her sons, who will be playing NBA basketball in Phoenix (Markieff) and Houston (Marcus).
She definitely will stay in close contact with Robinson, who will be a junior this year.
“He’s doing very well. I’m so proud of him,” she said.
Of her role in helping Thomas adjust without his mom, she said: “I would have done it for any player. They are like my babies.”
She also indicated she planned on being a volunteer for Headquarters in the future ... “if I have time. I will make some free time because this is so nice,” she said of the organization.