a group of people sitting on a bench: Florida State's Phil Cofer sits on the bench during the Seminoles' game against Vermont. (AP)© Offered by Oath Inc.
Florida State’s Phil Cofer sits on the bench through the Seminoles’ sport in opposition to Vermont. (AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Minutes after Florida State’s victory over Vermont to open the NCAA match on Thursday, senior ahead Phil Cofer obtained a name within the locker room that his father handed away. Mike Cofer was an All-Professional linebacker for the Detroit Lions who performed collegiately at Tennessee.

Mike Cofer suffered from amyloidosis, a uncommon illness that impacted his organs and tissue. Florida State affiliate head coach Stan Jones mentioned that Mike Cofer was capable of attend solely one in every of his son’s video games throughout his 5 years at Florida State and missed each Senior Days the fifth-year senior participated in. “It was simply painful to see your brother damage like that,” mentioned Florida State senior Terance Mann. “Particularly at a time like this. All of us obtained collectively and cried with him and regrouped as a group.”

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Cofer has endured a tough yr with the Seminoles. Jones mentioned Cofer’s mom has battled breast most cancers the previous few years. Cofer additionally broke his foot earlier within the season, which altered a trajectory that Jones mentioned was headed towards Cofer changing into an All-ACC caliber participant. “His development was persevering with as a participant,” Jones mentioned. “I really feel actual unhealthy. A part of the crushing emotion for him yesterday was, ‘How way more do I’ve to take?'”

Cofer didn’t attend No. four FSU’s apply on the XL Middle on Friday afternoon as they put together to play No. 12 Murray State on Saturday. The information of Mike Cofer’s dying solid a pall over the world, which had been buzzing the day earlier than after the transcendent efficiency of Ja Morant.

Cofer missed Thursday’s sport in opposition to Vermont, saying the damaged fifth metatarsal in his proper foot from October hasn’t totally healed. A 6-foot-Eight senior starter who averages 7.four factors and three.5 rebounds, Cofer watched the sport from the Florida State bench together with his foot in a boot and mentioned on Thursday that he’d be “day-to-day” for his availability. Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton mentioned he “doubts” Cofer will play in opposition to Murray State, however he’ll stick with the group via the sport on Saturday.

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Not lengthy after Cofer chatted about his foot harm on Thursday, he obtained information about his father’s passing. His teammates spent quite a lot of time with him on Thursday to supply help. “We’ll stick collectively and be robust for him,” Mann mentioned. “You understand, no matter he wants, we obtained it. We actually do not know what’s subsequent. We all know now we have a sport tomorrow that now we have to attempt to win for him.”

Jones mentioned the group and workers met with counselors to speak concerning the dying, as most of the gamers had not handled the dying of the mum or dad of a pal. Hamilton complimented Mike Cofer’s competitiveness, which he handed right down to Phil Cofer. “Yeah, it was very tough for him and his teammates, and we spent quite a lot of time final night time coping with it in our personal means,” Hamilton mentioned. “Our coronary heart goes out to the Cofer household. They’ve been unbelievable Seminoles. We’ll be there for Phil in each means potential.”

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Florida State (28-7) is acquainted enjoying with out Cofer. He missed the season’s first 9 video games with the foot harm, and it has impacted his capability to drive to the basket this season. Florida State has crushed LSU, Purdue and Florida with out Cofer within the lineup this season.

The tragedy on Thursday clearly transcends the sport, and Hamilton mentioned the group is getting ready to help Cofer nevertheless potential. “It is difficult,” Hamilton mentioned. “It is by no means straightforward, however we’re ready to, and I feel we have began doing every thing we probably might to let him know his basketball household is with him.”

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