Big 12 pep squads forget rivalry to throw rally for Children's Mercy patients

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Being a basketball fan stuck in the hospital with the Big 12 going on in your backyard is fate worse than, well, being stuck in the hospital to begin with.

"I don't like KU," explained Richard Cooper, Jr., when we asked who he'd be rooting for. "I like MU and they are rivals."

While he won't be rooting for the Jayhawks, Richard, a fan of both the Kentucky Wildcats and Lebron James, took a break from treatment at Children's Mercy to hang out with a few of KU's teammates. 

"Talking to someone else that is kind of close to your age, it's kind of cool," he said. "And they are in college, and I am getting ready to go to college in three years."

It was all part of the hospital's Child Life program, which makes the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for pint-sized patients.

"It's a time for them to come downstairs, feel normal, do special things and not feel like a sick kid anymore," said Trista Williams, a program coordinator for Child Life.

And as far as Richard, 14, is concerned, he's got this message for LeBron:

"He might see me in the future. He better get his skills up."

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Terra Hall can be reached at terra.hall@kshb.com.

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