He was suspicious, but he never expected to see her walk through that door.
Making the leap from high school to college can be difficult for parents and kids alike, but the transition has been especially difficult for one Jacksonville State basketball player. Norbertas Giga has been in the United States since he started college five years ago, and in that time, he hasn’t once been able to see his family.
During his time away, Giga has dutifully tended to both his studies and his role on the basketball team, but his coaches were aware of the hardship the extended absence must have been causing the young man. So they orchestrated an epic surprise to reunite their player with his mom, who made the trip to the States just to see her son.
Under the pretense of studying films, the coaches called Giga into the team’s conference room. The cameras on-hand were explained as an extra effort to document the study session. That might not be the most convincing tale they could have spun, but Giga was blindsided nonetheless when his mother appeared in the room.
Norbertas Giga, who left Lithuania to come to the U.S. to play college basketball, thought he was going to be watch… https://t.co/mhoR0ISRvK— ESPN (@ESPN) 1519826074.0
The cameras may have raised Giga’s suspicions, but they also give the public another vantage point of the emotional reunion.
.@norbertasgiga thought he was meeting with the coaches to watch film when he arrived in Evansville for the… https://t.co/QXHag00g3C— Jacksonville State Basketball (@Jacksonville State Basketball) 1519784861.0
In case Giga’s gratitude wasn’t made clear via two camera angels, he made it explicit from his Twitter account as well.
A HUGE Thank You to everybody that was involved in this surprise for me. I can’t even explain how much it means and… https://t.co/D9dIqXQJtQ— Norbertas Giga (@Norbertas Giga) 1519795491.0
As he finishes his senior year, he’ll no doubt be afforded more time to visit his mom and family back home, but judging from his emotional response, his visit a few months prior to his graduation is just what he needed.