It often goes unnoticed, but NCAA student-athletes regularly have to make sacrifices to their personal and family lives in order to compete and be committed to their sport, team and university. No one understands that more than Jacksonville State senior forward Norbertas Giga. Giga, a 7-foot center, left home in Lithuania in 2013 to pursue a career in collegiate basketball. He hadn’t seen his mother in five years before an emotional reunion on Tuesday.
While at the team hotel in Evansville, Indiana with the Ohio Valley Conference tournament starting Thursday night, Giga was greeted with a pleasant surprise when the Gamecocks’ coaching staff organized a trip for his mother to come watch him play.
Watch the heart-warming reunion here:
Before arriving at Jacksonville State for the start of the 2016-17 season, Giga spent one year at Tallahassee Community College and one at Midland College in Texas. This season for the Gamecocks, he's averaged 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. His 193 total rebounds are second most on the roster.
Jacksonville State faces Tennessee Tech in the first round of the OVC tournament Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks are looking for a second straight conference tournament title and another auto-bid to the NCAA tournament.