“Win for grandma,” OU forward loses family member days before Final Four


Khadeem Lattin

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HOUSTON, Texas – With less than 24 hours until tipoff between the Sooners and the Wildcats, excitement is at an all-time high around Houston.

While many of the players are motivated to win OU’s first national championship, a couple of the players have other factors that are motivating them to play well.

Less than three weeks ago, freshman Christian James lost three friends in a car accident.

However, he’s not the only one dealing with a loss before the Final Four.

On Wednesday, OU forward Khadeem Lattin learned that his grandmother had just passed away.

School officials say Lattin, who is from the Houston area, was excited to be able to play in front of family and friends, including his grandmother.

Sadly, she died from an illness, according to coach Lon Kruger.


“I was sad, and I did not sleep a lot, but now you have got to win for grandma,” Lattin said.

Lattin says he knows that his grandmother will be on his mind, but he says he hopes her memory will serve as motivation and not a distraction.

“It is just one of those things you just have to compartmentalize and just focus. I’m just going to pray and know she is going to watch out for me,” he said. “She’s a spirit now and has my back, no matter what.”

Kruger says that Lattin seems to be handling her death well, but he knows that he is hurting.

“Khadeem, his grandmother had been ill, a couple weeks ago took the extra time to come see her. He had the opportunity. But it still doesn’t make it any easier because it’s tough. Khadeem seems to be okay with it. Doesn’t lessen the sadness that he feels. But AK, the young guy that lost his brother a couple weeks ago, it was a reminder to all of our guys, it’s all fragile. What we’re doing is a gift and a blessing and appreciated. But still those relationships are far more important,” Kruger said.

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