Watch: JSU player reunited with mom for first time since 2013

Author: Chip Patterson / CBS Sports
Published: Updated:

Jacksonville State is the No. 4 seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, meaning the Gamecocks will need to get through OVC favorites Belmont and Murray State to make the NCAA Tournament. But today, they are already big winners of the week thanks to this incredible moment they created for senior big man Norbertas Giga.

The Gamecocks’ senior starting center hadn’t seen his mother since leaving Lithuania in 2013, according to the school. That was, until he got called into a “film session.”

Giga was at the team hotel prior to the start of OVC Tournament play in Evansville. When he questioned the presence of cameras in the room, it was explained that they were documenting everything about the postseason trip because it was going to be special. What was truly special was the surprise visitor the coaches had brought in to see her son here at the conclusion of his college career.

Giga has been a two-year starter for the Gamecocks since arriving at JSU in 2016, but the 7-footer traveled a long road before competing at the Division I level. Prior to JSU was one season of junior college ball at Midland College, one season at Tallahassee Community College and a year at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J. All that meant seeing his mom for the first time in more than four years was even more special.

The OVC Tournament begins on Wednesday, kicking off two weeks of wall-to-wall single-elimination college basketball between now and Selection Sunday.

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