Horry’s Loss Reminds Us to Keep Things in Proper Perspective.

Horry’s Loss Reminds Us to Keep Things in Proper Perspective.


Most Lakers’ fans will recall Robert Horry as I do. They watched him from afar and observed him to be the  consummate role player and teammate. He was the cog that always seemed to fit, a player who was rarely flashy or dominant but always saved his best performances for when the team needed him most. In crunch time he was, cliche as it sounds, never afraid of the moment. Yet this fearlessness was not born so much from some innate sense of self as it was the experiences of his life. Specifically, the birth of his daughter Ashlyn.

In 2002 ESPN’s Ric Bucher did a piece on Horry that described how Ashlyn, her entry into the world and her medical travails, changed the way Robert Horry felt about his life and his career. It gave him a perspective that he didn’t have before and made some of the worries he might otherwise have hung on to seem small in comparison to what was truly important in his life. To quote Horry, “From the moment my daughter almost didn’t even make it, I realized you can’t control what life hands you. I used to get nervous before that. Excited nervous, like gimmetheball-gimmetheball-gimmetheball. Hey, I love what I do, and it’s important in a sense, but not compared to my family. It’s just a game.” What’s the significance of a game clinching three in the face of your daughter’s health?  Not much, I suppose.

The truth is as good as her father was in crunch time, Ashlyn Horry needed to be at her best every moment of her life. The condition that afflicted her, a rare genetic disorder called 1p36 deletion syndrome, can stunt physical and cognitive development, cause cardiac and respiratory issues, as well as vision and hearing impairment. For Ashlyn it also meant that the slightest cold could be a life threatening illness, the slightest symptom a cause for alarm. Throughout the course of her life Ashlyn suffered through multiple surgeries and near death experiences, yet she kept battling. The word that comes to mind is fighter.

Because of her courage Ashlyn is an inspiration in my book. To make it as long as she did, to fight and survive despite the fact that doctors didn’t  even have a name for the ailment that she had at the time of her birth, to me it is remarkable. And if her life inspires, her death reminds. It reminds us that we should all strive to keep the same perspective that Horry did during his playing career. Personally, it also reminds me of some of the people who have entered my life only to be taken away in all too short a time.

I think of the teenage brother of my friend Michael who was killed after being struck by a train in London. I think of baby Gavin, the son of a family friend who entered this world with a defective heart and left it all too soon. Most of all I think of my father. I think of of my grandparents having to watch him die in the prime of his life and what that must have felt like, not for me but for them.

I suppose there is nothing more unnatural in this world than a parent having to suffer through the loss of a child. No matter how sudden or drawn out, how expected or surprising, no matter how much they might have thought they could have prepared themselves, the reaction must always be the same. It is one of pain and shock and utter devastation. Because of this my deepest sympathies go out to Robert Horry and his family right now.

I think I speak for all of Lakers Nation when I say that you have our most sincere prayers and most heartfelt thoughts. Robert, you gave us so many wonderful moments over the years, so many memories that we will cherish always. I’m not sure if our collective condolences will assuage the grief you feel even in the slightest, but just know that we care and we are there for you. And we always will be.


  • vaev

    That’s really sad.  God has made his choice, but it’s unfortunate it comes at the expense of a great Laker player…

    Prayers and thoughts are with Big Shot Rob, always


    • Marilyn Vaughns

      I was sadden to hear abut the lost of Mr & Mrs Horry daughter, as we were both at Texas Children hospital at the same time, Alhough my grandson is still in ICU. my heart goes out to the family. I remember my and her mom talk, and I would ask her how everything was,and we both would pray for each other. Love you Ms Horry. Marilyn

  • Oemerson69

    My prayers go out to the Horrry family..Be strong..and she is lookn down on u guys from Heaven..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christi-CarterforLife-Robinson/100000192775881 Christi CarterforLife Robinson

    My prayers and condolences on the passing of your little angel. God has welcomed her home where she will suffer no more.

  • Deep V

    May God grant the Horry family peace. Their place in the Lakers nation will always remain and we will collectively mourn the loss of one of our own. Rest in sweet peace little miss Ashlyn Horry.

  • Jdouglas721

    May god heal you’re heart at this moment……God Bless the Horry Family!!!! May you find strength within each other……RIP YOUNG ANGEL…….