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SIU's Hinson Returns To Practice, Thanks Fans
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Southern Illinois basketball coach Barry Hinson returned to practice Tuesday, releasing a statement thanking Saluki fans and staff for their support following the death of his son-in-law on Christmas Day.

The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports that Hinson's statement mentions ``letters, emails, text messages'' and prayers that helped his family.

Niles Thomason, husband of Hinson's daughter Tiffany, died suddenly while visiting family in Carbondale. The Jackson County coroner's office has said the 31-year-old Thomason, who lived in Colorado, died of natural causes. A memorial service was held Monday in Oklahoma.

Hinson made headlines recently for his animated news conference in which he called his players "a bunch of mama's boys" after a loss at Murray State. He publicly apologized for singling out a player for criticism in his comments.
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