Losing a loved one is always tough, and when it happens during family oriented holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, it can be extraordinarily tougher. Sadly, Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph lost his mother Mae Randolph on Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, the Grizzlies released a statement informing the public that Randolph was granted an indefinite leave of absence. The team’s head coach David Fizdale followed up with a comment stating that Randolph could take as much time needed to take care of his family and himself.

There is no word on cause of death.

Even though they will be playing with heavy hearts, coach Fizdale told the media that the team’s objective is to take care of their brother and to surround him with love and support. Fizdale ended with pointing out that Randolph would have done the same for them. Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace credits Mae Randolph for raising her son to be a man with an enormous heart who is committed to enriching the lives of others.

Nothing compares to a mother’s love

The 35-year-old Randolph is a self-confessed mama’s boy and has three siblings. A native of Marion, Indiana, he once proudly admitted to being a mama’s boy, explaining that his mother was all he had. Zach Randolph went into further details about not ever knowing his father but was grateful for a mom who took care of her children the best way she could. The family did not have a lot, according to Randolph, but his mother made sure the house was clean and there was food on the table.

Mother knows best

If it were not for Mae Randolph’s influence, the course of Zach’s career might have taken a different direction. When agents Carl and Kevin Poston presented Zach with contracts at Mae Randolph’s kitchen table, she intervened with sound advice. The mother of four advised her son to first seek furthering his education. Zach Randolph told the men he could not sign. Randolph played for the Portland Trailblazers, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers before settling with the Memphis Grizzlies as their star player for the last several years.

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