Gophers' Dupree McBrayer, family thank fans for covering funeral costs

Days after his mother lost her fight with cancer, Minnesota guard Dupree McBrayer shed tears on the bench after he played a key role in his team's win over Nebraska on Dec. 5.

People around the country, including Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, expressed their condolences via social media. And then they covered the costs of Tayra McFarlane-Shannon's funeral.

On Monday, McBrayer's family published a thank-you note through the school after Minnesota fans and others raised more than $15,000 in 24 hours to pay for McFarlane-Shannon's funeral expenses through a GoFundMe account organized by Caitlin Mahoney, the program's longtime assistant director of operations.

Minnesota coach Richard Pitino and his wife, Jill, donated $5,000. Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck and his wife, Heather, donated $800.

After the GoFundMe account for his mother's funeral expenses surpassed its goal, McBrayer tweeted that he had "tears of joy" coming down his face.

The men's basketball team traveled to New York last week to attend McFarlane-Shannon's funeral.

"The Shannon family would like to thank the University of Minnesota, staff, faculty, as well as fans, for all the love and support for Dupree," the family said. "We thank Coach Richard Pitino, his staff and the basketball team players for attending Tayra's funeral in support of Dupree. We kindly thank Caitlin Mahoney for her tremendous help for raising donations helping with funeral expenses.

"We appreciate each and every one at The University of Minnesota (fans as well) for supporting our family and Dupree at this difficult time. Thank you all and God Bless."

McBrayer's mother worked as a guard at the Rikers Island prison complex for more than 30 years. She retired earlier this year and hoped to have more time to watch her son play basketball.

McBrayer, a senior averaging 9.9 points per game, made a critical 3-pointer in the second half of the team's come-from-behind win over Nebraska. Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles hugged him after the game.