A Facebook page has been created in support of Kansas sophomore forward Thomas Robinson. The page calls upon “all Kansas fans to support T-Rob during this horrible time in his life, and not only Kansas fans, but fans of any other school who find it in their hearts” to support Robinson.
Robinson, and Friends
By now, you’ve heard about the unbelievable trial that fate is putting him through right now. The only two grandparents he’s ever known died within a few weeks of each other. His mother Lisa died on Friday of a heart attack. She was 38 years old. The Robinson family now consists of Thomas, 19, and his 9-year old sister, Jayla. So, in addition to keeping up with his studies and everything else that comes with playing for an elite college basketball program with as rabid and dedicated a fan base as any out there in any sport, Thomas is, for now, the official caretaker for his 9-year old sister — the very person who called him to tell him that their mother was gone.
[Time out, here…imagine that scenario for a moment. The 9-year old second grader has this news. She has to alert her brother, over a thousand miles away. There were presumably adults around at the time her mother died, at the hospital or wherever. They probably felt like they should make the call to Thomas, because that’s not news that you tell a 9-year old to break. Whether she volunteered for that task or not, Jayla is the one who left that voicemail. 29-year olds shouldn’t have to do that, let alone 9-year olds. That’s courage.]
On one hand, we’re sure Thomas is honored to take that responsibility of caring for his sister, and will dedicate his life to it. On the other…he shouldn’t have to. The situation is beyond comprehension, even to people as detached from it as us. The universe, though, has forced Thomas and his sister to comprehend it, and live it.
There have been some good — actually, let’s not say “good” — let’s say that some positive things have happened in the wake of this, things that speak well of Kansas fans, the school itself, and the NCAA. A scholarship fund that bears her mother’s name has been set up for Jayla Robsinson, and people are even inquiring about adopting the girl, or at least becoming her legal guardian. Kansas Athletics, Inc. will pay for the cost to fly the team to Washington, DC for the funeral tomorrow and the funeral itself. This has been approved by the NCAA, an organization that takes a lot of guff and endures a lot of second-guessing as far as the decisions they make that greatly impact kids’ lives. You can find some of that venom on this very site. But you’ve got to give credit where it’s due, even when there’s no other decision that could conceivably have been made.
So let’s all enjoy tonight’s games, and the big San Diego State vs BYU matchup that most of us have been looking forward to for so long. We all need to enjoy these little pleasures and be grateful for the chance. You don’t need us to tell you that. But before you settle in for the game, perhaps you could take 60 seconds, check out the Facebook page that’s been set up to support Thomas Robinson, and join the group set up by Kansas fans. Chances are, if you have a Facebook account, you’ve offered or accepted friend requests from more tenuous “friends” in the past. We’re pretty sure Thomas will look in on it at some point, and it would be good if the member count was well into the thousands, as we expect it will be eventually. We’re talking about the Kansas basketball family, after all.