CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Isiah Thomas will coach FIU in its opener Monday night against No. 6 North Carolina, hours after his 86-year-old mother had open-heart surgery.
Thomas arrived in Chapel Hill, N.C., early Monday, after spending Sunday in Chicago with his mother, Mary.
Mary Thomas emerged from the surgery ``well,'' said Hashim Alauddeen, FIU's director of basketball operations. Isiah Thomas didn't immediately return a call to his cell phone Monday.
He was at shootaround with the Golden Panthers on Monday, then planned to spend the afternoon in his hotel room preparing for the game.

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