Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Kyle Korver focusing on playoff run after mourning loss of his brother

On Tuesday Night, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavailers won a thriller in overtime, beating the Toronto Raptors 113-112 on their home floor in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup.

As most of the focus and attention is paid to James, who is looking to make an unprecedented 8th straight trip to the NBA Finals, one of the unsung heroes for the Cavs last night and over the the past month has been the play of veteran Kyle Korver.

Last night, Korver scored 19 points, hitting 5 three-pointers including a key three late in OT to give Cleveland a lead that they would not relinquish.

Korver, 37, has seen many ups and downs in his 15-year NBA career, but this season may have been the toughest one he’s had to endure.

Back on March 19, Kyle scored 12 points in helping the Cavs do a 124-117 victory over Milwaukee. The next day, March 20, Kyle’s younger brother Kirk Korver died following a sudden undisclosed illness at the age of 27.

At the memorial service a week later, Kyle described his brother to the crowd that had gathered at the Third Reformed Church in Pella, IA.

“We say it in our family all the time, how do you make it without Jesus?” Korver said. “How do you make it without faith? Faith is real. We have faith. Kirk had faith. Kirk’s faith was real. Kirk’s faith was good. But why was his faith real? He knew Jesus. He had a real relationship with our heavenly father.”

Kyle fought back tears during his speech and talked about how much of an impact his mother and father had on the four Korver boys, including Kirk.

“When we look back at the last few months of Kirk’s life as he dealt with a body that was failing him and he didn’t understand why, that he could spend his final months back home with the two people who showed him what unconditional love was. That is a gift. That’s God grace. And we believe that God works all things for good. We believe it gives us hope and helps us get through today. But it’s going to be different. There is a before and after. But you always have four sons. They’ll always be four. I love you mom and dad and I love you Kirk.”

Kyle and the Cavaliers continue their playoff run at Toronto on Thursday night in Game 2 at 6:00 PM eastern on ESPN. 

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