Kyle Korver’s brother, Kirk Korver, died on March 20, 2018 at the age of 27. According to ESPN, Kirk had been battling an illness, but it was not initially believed to be severe. The Korver family did not specify the illness, but noted Kirk had not been sick for long.
“Kirk became seriously ill last week and died Tuesday afternoon in Iowa City,” family spokesman Dan Sorenson told the Des Moines Register shortly after Kirk’s death.
Kirk was survived by his parents, Rev. Kevin and Laine Korver, as well as his three brothers: Kyle, Klayton and Kaleb. The Cleveland Cavaliers issued a statement after Kirk passed away.
We are very sad to share that Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver’s brother, Kirk, passed away today. Kyle has been excused from the team to be with his family. We extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt best to Kyle and his entire family as they go through this very difficult time.
Kirk played college basketball at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and had recently moved to Pella, Iowa to take a job. According to ESPN, Laine and Kevin had come back from a trip to Los Angeles from watching Kyle play the Lakers and Clippers. Kirk was ill, and when his parents saw he was not getting better they took him to the hospital, where they found out some of his organs were failing.
“We thought maybe he was a little depressed or something,” Laine explained to ESPN. “But no one would have suspected that he was that sick.”
After a game in Portland, Kyle chartered a plane with his brother Kaleb and his wife to go visit Kirk. According to ESPN, things were looking up after Kirk was matched for a liver transplant from a person in Colorado. The morning of the surgery went as no one expected.
“At 4 a.m., they intubated him,” Kevin told ESPN. “At 10 o’clock, he coded for the first time. About 11, 11:30, he coded the second time. And we pulled all the machines off at 1 o’clock. So we went from ‘He’s going to get a liver. He was the No. 1 option’ to ‘Your son is dead.’ And that was in 15 hours. I mean, you talk about roller coaster. … That is as intimate and raw as you can be as a family.”
Kyle gave an emotional eulogy at Kirk’s funeral, where he tried to offer encouragement to his parents. You can watch the funeral service in the above video.
“You two are so good,” Kyle said at the funeral per the Des Moines Register. “And you have thrown the seed and you have lived out a faith that’s caught and not taught in this church for 25 years. Harvest has come, and much more is coming. … We are grateful for you. Kirk is grateful for you. … But it’s going to be different. There is a before and an after, there is.”
Kyle has had to balance grieving the loss of his brother with being a key contributor on a title contending NBA team. Kyle spoke with ESPN on how this experience has given him a new perspective on life.
“You know it’s hard to hold death in one hand,” Kyle noted to ESPN. “Your brother passing. Everything you feel about that and you get playoffs. Nothing else gives you different eyes for what’s going on in the world and what’s important and what matters.”
Source: Heavy Sports