Rashad, we’re pulling for you and your mom


I’m still worried about what ails Rashad. Because it’s as much about what’s in his head as it is anything else.  

In an earlier Tar Heel post (see link at bottom) I said that a player might need our extra thoughts and prayers. Now you know what I was getting at – the Citizen-Times reports today that Rashad’s mother has been battling breast cancer.

I’m sure that Rashad has been sick with the flu or something like it for the past couple of weeks. But I’m also sure that he’s been heartsick since January with worry over his mother.

Mom says she’s had two operations and that doctors report no spread of the cancer. No word on what further treatment she undergoes.

Despite the positive spin, news like this can rock a young man’s world. These coddled super-athletes live in a world unlike ours. They live within a protective bubble, both literally and mentally. It’s a shield that you or I can’t really imagine. Most of these kids don’t have much, so they go to great lengths to care for what they do have.

When it comes to people close to them, there are few they can trust in the high-stakes world of multi-million dollar contracts, where everyone is trying to get a piece of them. Thus, family ties are most cherished.

The filters usually work. But bubble can be fragile, especially when the threat comes unexpectedly and hits home in such a personal way. So when a potentially devastating illness strikes mom, it can cripple a young athlete.

Blue Nation is behind you
Rashad’s got the best support system anyone can have – family members, teammates and a coach who really cares. And don’t discount the Tar Heel Nation. I think he’ll be OK.

Mom said she’d be in Chapel Hill to baby her baby a little, cook for him and spend time with him. Let’s hope she gets plenty of TLC herself in the coming days and weeks.