Minnesota Golden Gophers senior Dupree McBrayer announced Monday on Instagram that his mother, Tayra McFarlane, had passed away. He added an additional message on Twitter Tuesday saying she died of cancer.
Heartbroken To Say The Least .. Woke Up Thinking Yesterday Was A Dream But It Finally Hit Me. Reality Sets In And My Mother Is Gone. With Cancer Taking Her Away From. RIP Momma And I Hope To Make You Proud Everyday ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rEhfX6LIiM
— Dupree McBrayer (@InPree_WeTrust) December 4, 2018
A 2016 story from the Star Tribune reported that when McBrayer was nine years old, McFarlane, a Rikers Island prison warden, took McBrayer and his brothers to the prison to show them the path they didn’t want to go down. “I had to stay on top of them and their whereabouts and keep them busy,” McFarlane said. “So I got them in basketball, and I just kept them running.”
McBrayer certainly heeded the advice and became a sought-after basketball recruit. Gophers head coach Richard Pitino took to Twitter Tuesday morning to recall his in-home visit with McFarlane and McBrayer.
Prayers for @InPree_WeTrust. I remember when she made me drink a budweiser and eat lasagna at 10 am on Dupree’s in home visit. One of the coolest, most supportive moms I have ever had. Please show Dupree why this community is so special Gopher fans. #RIPTayra ????????
— Richard Pitino (@CoachPitinoMN) December 4, 2018
Pitino will address reporters Tuesday in advance of the Gophers Big Ten home opener on Wednesday at 8 p.m. against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
McBrayer has averaged 13.8 points per game this season in eight starts.