Kansas Men's Basketball Visit Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City
Aug. 18, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Smiles, hugs, autographs and laughs were the theme as the Kansas men’s basketball team visited Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday morning, the day before the 2010 fall semester begins.
“We just tried to make someone’s life a little bit brighter today, but in all reality these kids and parents really brightened our day,” Jayhawk senior guard Tyrel Reed said. “To see the situations that those kids are going through at such a young age, make us realize how fortunate we are. We have to not take things for granted as players, and as people in general. It’s really nice to see them have their lives brightened up.”
The team broke up into four different groups that covered the areas of the hospital that has more than 200 patients. Players, coaches and KU men’s basketball staff talked and visited with the patients, posed for photos, signed autographs and even played Wii when challenged by the youth.
“It was a great experience being in there and being interactive with the kids,” junior forward Markieff Morris said. “We put a lot of smiles on their face but they made us smile also. They didn’t ask a lot of questions. We asked them the majority of the questions. We sat down with them, cuddled a couple of them, watched TV with them, just had some laughs and brightened up their day.”
Autographs were signed on a variety of items such as T-shirts, casts, posters, photos, picture frames and other items.
“We’re one big family and to do things like this brings us closer,” Morris said. “We are already close as a team, but things like this bring more unity in the team.”
“This was a great experience,” said sophomore forward Thomas Robinson. “It was good to talk with them, ask questions and sign things for them. It was good to see them all happy. The parents had more questions than the children did. We asked more questions to the children than they did to us. My group got to play the Wii with a couple of kids, which was real fun. It definitely makes you think that you are very blessed.”
Reed recalled other visits to hospitals while as a member of the Kansas basketball family.
“This is definitely one of the perks we get by being a KU basketball player – going out in the community and helping people,” Reed said. “I think we did this my freshman year and when we won the national championship we visited Walter Reed in Washington D.C. and saw the wounded veterans.”
Following the visit, the KU team ate lunch at Gates BBQ before returning home for orientation in preparation for Thursday’s first day of class.