Like my colleague Joel Beall pointed out on Monday with that feel-good Iowa free-throw story, there is still some hope for this great nation of ours. This latest, tear-jerking story courtesy of the Jacksonville State men's basketball team further confirms that notion.
Nobertas Giga, the Gamecocks' Lithuanian seven-foot senior center, has been on quite the journey since arriving in America in 2013. After spending his final season of high school at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J, Giga was off to Florida State University to play for the Seminoles. Only he never did, instead spending a year at Tallahassee Community College, where he got in a little trouble with the law and ended up transferring to Midland College in Texas. Finally, he made his way to Jacksonville State, where he's been a huge contributor, starting over 60 games in the last two years. Like I said, quite the journey, and during that time the poor guy hasn't even seen his mother.
That was until his coaches surprised him during an impromptu film session. Grab your tissues for this one:
Welp, anyone else's sinuses just get clogged up? Damn allergies.
Awesome moment for Giga, who missed his mom so much that he was happy to rehash some of her regular "belt-whippings". She sounds like one tough cookie, but I'm sure it was all out of love. Let's hope Giga and the Gamecocks win the Ohio Valley Conference tournament and earn a bid to the big dance, where they can give Duke a belt-whipping as a 15-seed.