Heartache permeates the Missouri men’s basketball team, which recently learned that assistant coach Brad Loos’ 5-year-old daughter, Rhyan, was diagnosed with bone cancer.
“Four or five days ago, she’s playing in the cul-de-sac,” Tigers coach Kim Anderson said after an open gym in conjunction with homecoming. “That’s tough.”
Pleas for prayers for the Loos family started pouring onto social media late Friday night and continued through the weekend.
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Loos is in his second season at MU. He came with Anderson from Central Missouri in May 2014 after Frank Haith left for the men’s basketball job at Tulsa.
Loos and Anderson are entering their 14th season together.
Loos has become perhaps Anderson’s most-trusted confidant and right-hand man after working his way up the coaching ladder with the Mules.
Jen was a women’s soccer graduate assistant when Loos started at Central Missouri in 2002 as Anderson’s graduate assistant.
The couple was married in 2006 and has three children — a son, Brady, Rhyan and the youngest, a daughter named Charli.
“I’ve watched him grow up and I watched him marry (his wife) Jen and I watched those three kids be born …,” Anderson said. “Anytime somebody’s with you almost 14 years of your life, you just hurt for them. I’ve been hurting.”
Anderson hasn’t been alone.
The players also have felt Loos’ pain, including junior guard Martavian Payne — a transfer from John A. Logan College in Illinois who was recruited by Loos.
“I haven’t talk to him, but we’ve sent him messages and are trying to make sure he’s OK and doing well,” Payne said. “It’s real tough, knowing his little girl has cancer. It’s going to affect him, but it affects us as well. If one hurts, we all hurt.”
Doctors are in the process of formulating a treatment plan for Rhyan.
Anderson said the Loos family appreciates the kind messages, warm thoughts and prayers from the Mizzou family as well as the Warrensburg, Mo., community.
“We just all pray,” Anderson said. “It’s something that we all just have to continue to be supportive. It’s really hard. It’s hard because she’s such a cute little girl and she’s full of life. We’re just praying that she’ll get better and the doctors will help get rid of this crazy disease.”
Anderson said Loos will be excused from practice and other duties whenever it’s required.
“Whatever he needs,” Anderson said. “He needs to worry about his family. He doesn’t need to worry about basketball. If he wants to walk in here tomorrow and start coaching, that’s fine. If he want to be with his family, that’s fine. The most important thing now is Rhyan and taking care of his family.”