Guard’s mom dies days before tourney

The mother of Murray State reserve guard Picasso Simmons was killed

in a car crash Monday, on the eve of the team’s departure for the

NCAA tournament.

Freeda Simmons died in Nashville, Tenn., Murray State

spokesman Dave Winder said. Her son is planning to go to the

Racers’ first-round game Thursday against Vanderbilt in San Jose,


Simmons’ mother, who ran track at Murray in the early 1980s,

was pleased the team made the tournament, Winder said. The bracket

was announced Sunday.

“His mom was real, real happy that he was getting a chance to

go,” Winder said. “He just feels that she would want him to go, and

he wants to honor her in that way.”

Picasso Simmons, a walk-on junior guard from Gallatin, Tenn.,

saw limited time in seven games for the Racers, who went 30-4 and

won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Simmons’ sister, Galileo, has also competed in track and

field for Murray State, and their father played football there in

the early ’80s, Winder said.

“Our basketball team is a family,” Winder said. “We had all

the jubilation of yesterday, and something like this puts it into