Kansas Jayhawks head men’s basketball coach Bill Self certainly has a lot on his plate right now as he prepares his team to make another championship run in the 2015-16 season, but that didn’t stop him from taking time out of his busy schedule to up the spirits of a family that really needed a pick-me-up.
In a story published in the Fort Myers News-Press, published by David Dorsey, Self actually called Dorsey’s family just to speak to his mother, who was battling Stage IV breast cancer. Naturally, the story hits square in the feels. This meant a lot to Dorsey, a huge Kansas fan.
“Hey Gene. This is Bill Self here. Sorry I haven’t called sooner. I’ve been out of town on business, and I just got back, and I’m catching up. I heard you guys are going through some stuff. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I wanted to check in with you to see how you’re doing. Give me a call when you can.”
My dad called the number Self left on the voice mail.
Expecting to get an administrative assistant, instead my father heard: “This is Bill Self.” He had left a direct line.
My father and Coach Self talked for a few minutes. Self gave my dad a much-needed pep talk. My father did an extraordinary job of caring for my mother during her final 60 days and throughout their 45 years of marriage. It’s hard work, caring for the dying. He had help from Grace Hospice and my Aunt Barb Liberman. My father did an amazing job. It was on par with the coaching job Self managed in 2008, when Mario Chalmers made that epic, game-tying shot, sending the NCAA title game against Memphis into overtime, which ended up being a formality.
Now that we’re done putting the tissues away, let’s take a moment to rise and applaud Self. Not only did he speak to Dorsey’s father, but also his mother. In a family’s time of need, and one where great sadness was on the way, Self took just a few minutes to raise a family’s spirits when he was under no obligation to do so.
Mrs. Dorsey would pass away just a night later, but there is no doubt that a call from a future Hall of Famer made her final hours pass by a bit easier.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports