With mother ailing, Thomas will coach FIU opener

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Isiah Thomas will coach FIU in its
opener Monday night against No. 6 North Carolina, hours after his
86-year-old mother had open-heart surgery.
Thomas arrived in Chapel Hill, N.C., early Monday, after
spending Sunday in Chicago with his mother, Mary.
Mary Thomas emerged from the surgery "well," said Hashim
Alauddeen, FIU's director of basketball operations. Isiah Thomas
didn't immediately return a call to his cell phone Monday.
He was at shootaround with the Golden Panthers on Monday, then
planned to spend the afternoon in his hotel room preparing for the

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