LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self is hospitalized and will miss the remainder of the Big 12 Tournament, according to KU Athletics.
Kansas Athletics also confirmed Coach Self did not suffer a heart attack.
“He arrived at the emergency department last night and underwent a standard procedure that went well. He is expected to make a full recovery. There will be no further medical details released for now,” Dr. Steve Stites, Chief Medical Officer, said.
Self felt well enough Thursday afternoon to issue a statement about his health.
I am very grateful for the overwhelming number of well wishes my family and I have received. I’m excited to get back with my team in the very near future.Bill Self, KU Men’s Basketball Coach
Self’s health emergency meant the Jayhawks faced the West Virginia Mountaineers without their head coach, something the team used as motivation during the game.
“With him not being here just brought us together more. Throughout all the adversity we’ve been through the entire season, that just makes us come together even more and play as a team,” Jalen Wilson, Kansas forward, said.
Hear from players in the video player below.
“It’s bigger than us. We play for our entire family across Lawrence, across Kansas, and that was just another moment to prove how tight this group is no matter what’s going on, all the outside noise.”
Fellow Jayhawk Gradey Dick agreed and said the team put their confidence in KU Assistant Coach Norm Roberts who served as the team’s head coach during the game against the Mountaineers.
“Just come together through it all and Coach Self would obviously want that. A lot of what he preaches is with us players is next man up and this case it was Coach [Roberts],” Dick said.
Roberts spoke to ESPN after arriving at T-Mobile center before Thursday’s game.
“We always say ‘next man up.’ We always say ‘faces change expectations don’t.’ That’s what coach preaches everyday and our guys know that. We know he’s in good hands. We know he’s doing well and all those things,” Roberts said during the interview.
Roberts assumed head coaching duties when Self missed games against Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota State, Duke and Southern Utah during a four game self-imposed suspension.
FOX4 spoke with KU fans Thursday who said they’re concerned about Self but confident in the Jayhawks.
“I was just astonished,” fan Austin Knight said. “I just hope the best for him. Prayers up to him and his family, and I just hope the players play for him.”
“Obviously it’s pretty sad, but I think we can pull it through because we coached without him earlier this year and won all of those games,” fan Cody Johns said.
The Jayhawks beat the West Virginia Mountaineers on Thursday to advance to the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.
Coincidentally, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has had heart-related issues in the past, including during a game in February 2017.
After that incident, Self offered this advice.
“I hope he’s doing well, and there have been a lot of incidents over the years where coaches have lost their balance or had vertigo or had something happen,” Self said in 2017.
“And I think what I hope everyone would do is, myself included, don’t say, ‘I’m OK’ but make sure he gets checked out and I’m sure he’s doing that.”
The Jayhawks now play Iowa State at 6 p.m. Friday.