It goes without saying that no parent should ever have to bury a child. Over the weekend, the coach of the Houston Rockets had to face that horrifying reality. Kevin McHale's daughter, "Sasha," died from an illness related to her long battle with lupus, according to reports. She was only 23.
McHale took a leave of absence from the team several weeks ago to be with his daughter and family during her illness, but last week, things appeared to be improving based on comments from interim coach Kelvin Sampson. But she passed away on Saturday, a day after a rousing victory for the Rockets over the Knicks.
According to the Chron, the Rockets went through a light workout yesterday, but the mood was somber.
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"It's really tough," guard Jeremy Lin said. "It's a little emotional. Obviously, we all care about Coach a lot. To see what he's going through puts perspective into everything that we're really dealing with or working toward.
"We've had updates pretty much every day or every other day, what the progress was that day, what's coming up or what are the things they're trying to do to make it better. Then everything just kind of happened. We were all praying for him and her and the family."
Funeral arrangements are being made and it appears the players will attend the ceremony this week in between games.
As McHale and his family mourn their loss, Sampson will continue as the Rockets' interim coach, though McHale speaks with players and coaches every day despite being described as "distraught" over his daughter's death.
The Rockets' next game is at home on Tuesday against the three-win Toronto Raptors.