HOUSTON, Texas – It has been a long road to Houston for many members of the Sooner team, but for one freshman, time seemed to stop.
For Christian James, coming back to Houston should be a dream come true.
However, this moment is bittersweet.
Two weeks ago, James learned that his friend and former girlfriend, Jade Robinson, passed away from injuries she sustained in a car accident.
Two of her friends were also killed in the wreck.
Less than one week after their deaths, the Sooners beat Oregon to head to the Final Four in Houston.
“I just wish she could have been here just to experience this with me,” James told Scout.com. “God doesn’t make any mistakes. This was for her. . . . Everything that happened (Saturday), it feels like she was here.”
Following the win, James honored his friends on social media.
“God is good- this is a tribute for all the girls that passed. God is good, this is for them,” he said.
Jade & Bri I love you with all my heart this is for you 🙏🏾😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/CRvops2ZQW
— King James$ (@The_underrated5) March 27, 2016
James’ mother, Sharon, says Robinson’s death has given him even more motivation to succeed and honor her memory.
“For him to be able to put his emotions aside so he could focus and help his team do what he needed to do, I think it was really good, but that is driving him even more to be able to help the team,” she said.
Christian told Scout.com that he and Robinson had talked about the Sooners making it to the Final Four at the beginning of the season, so then he would be able to play in front of his hometown.
Now, he is back in town, but he is on a mission not just to win the title, but to also help his community heal.
“It’s been tragic for the whole school,” James said. “I know it’s totally different without them there. . . . Everybody loved them. It’s tough on them. It’s different not seeing them there. I don’t want say this can change a lot of people or the way they look at it, but this is what they wanted.”