Brad Loos’ 6-year-old daughter, Rhyan, became an inspirational force within the Mizzou athletics community last year during her battle with stage-four neuroblastoma.
After months of treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Rhyan Loos seemed to have turned a corner, but the family received the devastating news Thursday that her cancer has returned.
“Even before I committed and Missouri was recruiting me, I would always check up on her when I heard that she got sick the first time,” Tigers freshman forward Willie Jackson said. “So, when I heard this time, I just prayed a lot.”
Doctors found a brain tumor on Thanksgiving, which caused swelling and bleeding. Rhyan and her parents, including mom Jen, flew to New York on Friday for surgery at Sloan Kettering.
“It was pretty emotional for me,” said Anderson, who’s worked with Brad Loos for nearly two decades and is extremely close with the family. “ … It’s really hard for me to handle it. I don’t handle it well. I don’t handle seeing Rhyan not be good.”
Anderson met with Brad Loos before he left for New York and texted him several times before Saturday’s 84-60 win over Northwestern (La.) State.
“He sent me a text before the game and said, ‘These nurses here are going to think I’m crazy while I’m trying to watch the game on the computer,’ ” Anderson said of his conversation with Loos.
“Basketball for Brad — and I told him yesterday not to worry about anything here, that his family was the most important thing and Rhyan — but he told me basketball is kind of his release,” Anderson said. “It keeps (Brad) going and keeps (him) involved, so I promise you he’ll have some notes when I get ahold of him here in a little while.”
Anderson did not have details about when Rhyan, whose fight spawned the ubiquitous #RallyforRhyan on social media, would undergo surgery.
“She’s a tough girl,” Anderson said. “She’s tough, and she’ll beat it. But it takes all of us, and I know the guys are really emotional about it. We’re all praying for her and hoping for the best. We know the best will come.”
Certainly, that’s what sophomores Kevin Puryear and K.J. Walton, who also spoke about Rhyan Loos after the game, are praying for.
“When we heard about it, it hit us hard,” Walton said. “We love Rhyan; we love the Loos family.”
Kemp will redshirt
Anderson announced after the game that Jakoby Kemp will redshirt this season.
Kemp, a freshman forward from Layton, Utah, joined Mizzou in midsummer and had yet to play this season.
“He and I have talked about it and, given with Jordan Barnett coming back and that situation, we felt like it would be best for him,” Anderson said.
Kemp has played well defensively in practice, according to Anderson, “but this will give him a chance to get stronger and get better and, hopefully, be ready to go next year.”