Saturday was Senior Day for the Florida State men’s basketball team, the occasion on which graduating players are announced and celebrated alongside their loving family members, but guard Braian Angola was not expecting much. Angola is from Colombia, and as far as he knew, his mother had no plans to fly in for the ceremony.
But as Angola stood at mid-court with coach Leonard Hamilton, the public-address announcer said the words, “She’s flown all the way from Colombia,” and Angola immediately broke down. By the time his mother reach him, he was in tears, with his shirt covering his face. Angola and his mother then embraced, in one of the most tender moments you’ll see this weekend.
We’re not crying, you’re crying.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 3, 2018
Now that’s just beautiful. With intense travel schedules and limited vacation time, it can be hard enough for big-time college athletes to see their families even when everyone lives close by. When they’re separated by several thousand miles, on a different continent from their loved ones, it’s even harder — which makes Saturday’s surprise all the more meaningful.
Once the game started Saturday, Angola (who averaged 12.7 points per game this season) gave his mother plenty to cheer about, putting up 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting as Florida State beat Boston College 85-76. Safe to say his Senior Day could not have gone much better.