Norbertas Giga, a senior for the Gamecocks, had been invited to watch film with the coaching staff in a hotel conference room Tuesday as the team from Alabama prepared to play in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Giga was told by the coaches that video cameras were present simply to document the team’s postseason run, People reported. Assistant coach Chase Richardson begins the session by asking the 7-footer about his mother’s discipline tactics.
“What did your mom used to tell you about belt whippings? You need them?” Richardson asks Giga. “When’s the last time you had one?”
“Oh man, that was about eight years ago?” Giga said.
Richardson walked to a door near the film screen and told Giga, “I’m tired of belt-whipping you myself. So we got the real thing for you.”
Richardson opened the door and Giga’s mother walked into the room. Giga ran to the opposite side of the room in disbelief, then returns to give his mother a teary embrace.
.@norbertasgiga thought he was meeting with the coaches to watch film when he arrived in Evansville for the @OVCSports Tournament. Instead, he got a surprise from someone he hasn’t seen since moving to the United States in 2013. pic.twitter.com/P0NELC0sRT
Giga has been a two-year starter for the Gamecocks since arriving at the school in 2016, CBS Sports reported. Prior to that he spent a season at the junior college level at Midland College and Tallahassee Community College and a year at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey, CBS Sports reported.
A HUGE Thank You to everybody that was involved in this surprise for me. I can’t even explain how much it means and how this moment feels to me. THANK YOU! We are Gamecocks! https://t.co/wvCBb3neyZ
A HUGE Thank You to everybody that was involved in this surprise for me. I can’t even explain how much it means and how this moment feels to me,” Giga wrote on Twitter. “THANK YOU! We are Gamecocks!”
The surprise was not enough to help Giga spark Jacksonville to an OVC title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. After defeating Tennessee Tech 73-70 on Thursday, the fourth-seeded Gamecocks lost 70-63 to top-seeded Murray State in the conference semifinals Friday night, ESPN reported.