Mother of Gophers guard Dupree McBrayer remembered before Big Ten home opener
The Gophers and Nebraska basketball teams honored the memory of senior guard Dupree McBrayers late mother before Wednesdays Big Ten matchup at Williams Arena.
There was a moment of silence before team introductions for Tayra McFarlane, 58, who lost a battle with cancer Monday in New York. Minnesota players wore patches with her initials, while Gophers coaches had pins on their shirts. The Cornhuskers also donned warmup jerseys with RIP Tayra on the fronts.
McFarlane, a big supporter of the Gophers, retired from her job as a prison warden in New York to attend more of her sons games this season. But she had a stroke in October and was diagnosed with cancer.
McBrayer played the past few weeks knowing she was in poor health, but he still managed to average 10 points in 29 minutes in the first eight games. He had four assists in 17 minutes in the first half Wednesday night against Nebraska.
The Queens native and co-captain tweeted Tuesday that he hoped to make her proud, while coaches and teammates who knew her shared his grief over the loss of a very special lady, Gophers coach Richard Pitino said.
Pitino said McBrayers mother was one of his favorite parents to deal with in his years coaching at Minnesota.
Just a great lady, he said. A very warm person. You have a big win, she would text you. She was never a parent to text you any complaints. Supportive, hardworking Special, special lady.
Harlem native and Gophers sophomore guard Isaiah Washington first met McBrayer as a freshman in high school. What hell remember about McBrayers mom is her energy and that she treated me like family from the beginning.
Gophers senior forward Jordan Murphy was honored before Wednesdays game for becoming the schools career leading rebounder last month in a victory over Santa Clara in Vancouver.
Murphy, who surpassed former Gophers great Mychal Thompson for the top spot, became the 14th player in Big Ten history to reach 1,000 career rebounds. The San Antonio native entered the Nebraska game as the Big Tens leading rebounder with 12 per game.