Notre Dame basketball junior point guard Matt Farrell wasn't expecting to see his brother, Army 1st Lt. Bo Farrell, until February because Bo has been deployed to Afghanistan since May. But after a home victory over Colgate University Monday night, Matt got the surprise of a lifetime.
Following their win, a video message of Bo speaking appeared on the Fighting Irish's scoreboard. Bo told his brother — who had just racked up 13 points and seven assists in the win — how proud of him he was.
That's when the camera panned out to show that Bo wasn't speaking from Afghanistan but from Notre Dame's basketball arena instead.
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Seconds later, Bo was bounding down the ramp to the arena floor, where he raced to embrace Farrell. Over in the front row of Section 17, the Farrell family came tumbling out of the stands. That included the brothers’ father, Bob, who raced down five stairs despite ligament damage in his ankle suffered in a fall on the ice Saturday outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Then came the hugs. The smiles. The tears. The chills.
The brothers Farrell left the court, arm in arm, and listened to the alma mater together just outside the locker room door. Later, they sat side-by-side — both in uniform — for the team’s usual post-game media access.
During the post-game media press conference, the surprise meeting, which had been in the works for two months, was all anyone wanted to ask about.
"I don’t even know what to say," Farrell told the media. "I’m just lost for words. It’s awesome, man. I can’t wait to spend Christmas with him."