College Basketball Player Gets A Post-Game Jumbotron Message And Surprise Reunion With His ‘Deployed’ Brother

"We don't ask for much for Christmas, so this is the best present I've ever gotten."

Surprise reunions are nothing new in the world of sports, but even after they’ve been featured at seemingly every arena and stadium, they still don’t lose their luster as heartwarming moments. During a recent Notre Dame basketball game, player Matt Farrell was treated to a message from his brother, 1st Lt. Bo Farrell, who was speaking to him from Afghanistan...supposedly.

It’s a little late in the year to get a new candidate for the best prank of the year, but this certainly deserves to be on the shortlist:

The audience (both in person and on TV) was as surprised as Matt when his brother comes trotting out, revealing a staged backdrop. You can tell by the crowd’s response at the Notre Dame Joyce Center that they were as overwhelmed as the Junior point guard when the twist was revealed.

According to Today, the event had been in the works for a mindblowing seven months, which no doubt required a lot of restraint on the part of those burdened with keeping this wonderful moment a secret. Those in on the ruse included not just Bo, but the Notre Dame coaching staff, headed by Mike Brey. As soon as Bo was deployed back in May, they started conspiring on the reunion, which included not just the two brothers, but other family members as well.

The whole thing is pretty magical, and words don’t really do much to convey the sentiment or expressions you see in the video, but Matt did his best to bow on what he was experiencing when he said to press after the fact, "We don't ask for much for Christmas, so this is the best present I've ever gotten."

If you’re looking for the icing on the cake here, Notre Dame won their game over Colgate 77-62, with Matt taking down 13 points in the effort. But in hindsight, the game just seems like a prelude to this:


Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

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