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January 27, 2011The University of Kansas men's basketball family joined sophomore forward Thomas Robinson in Washington, D.C., Thursday for the funeral of Robinson's mother, Lisa Robinson, who died last Friday at the age of 43.
The funeral was held at the Antioch Baptist Church before an overflow gathering of some 200 people.
Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self, his wife Cindy, the KU players, assistant coaches and staff heard the Reverend Dr. William H. Gibbs deliver an inspired eulogy.
Former Kansas men's basketball pastor Randy Beamon, who currently lives in Virginia, also addressed the gathering.
"It was a beautiful service," Self said. "It was sad, but also very uplifting. It was great to see that Lisa had so many family and friends come to pay their respects and pay tribute to her.
"I know our team was very glad and proud that we were able to come," Self continued. "We certainly appreciate the NCAA giving us some allowances for that to happen.
"I'm sure Thomas will tell everybody in his own way that he personally appreciates very much all the thoughts, prayers and support he has received and felt throughout this trying time, and I know his family does as well."
Prior to the service Lisa Robinson's children - Jamah, Thomas and Jayla - each movingly placed a white rose into her casket. Thomas also placed a Kansas basketball jersey into the casket, while Jayla placed a stuffed toy Jayhawk next to her mother.
"We're family, and this is something we wanted to do for Thomas," Kansas senior guard Tyrel Reed said. "Thomas is our brother and he and Jayla are hurting. We'll do anything we can to make sure they get through this. Our support will continue for them in the future; we want what is best for them. We want them to be in the best situation and have the utmost opportunities."
The team flew to D.C. after classes Wednesday afternoon - the team's second visit in 15 hours to Forbes Field in Topeka, Kan. (The team had returned to Forbes at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday from its game at Colorado.)
A snow storm in the D.C. area delayed the KU contingent's travel from Dulles International Airport to the team's hotel. The team was originally scheduled to arrive at the hotel at 8:45 p.m. E.T., but the storm delayed the team bus, and the snow and ice-packed roads made travel extremely slow. The team finally arrived at the hotel at 1:45 a.m., some five hours late.
The family of Lisa 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.