BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Parents and guardians provide extra support for their student athletes. One parent who's been deployed for seven months in the Arabian Gulf has missed almost all his son's basketball games this season. Unbeknown to his son, dad arrived home earlier than expected and would be in the stands cheering him on Tuesday night.
Chief Petty Officer Paco Vontoure is used to talking to his son St. Stanislaus basketball player Christian Reynoso-Vontoure about his games over the phone and watching a recorded version of them.
As the regular basketball season draws closer to an end for St. Stanislaus, Paco knew he had to at least make it to one game in person.
"When I got back in April, I planned on taking all of the family and coming down and visiting anyway, but just like you said, I wanted to surprise him by showing up a little early," Vontoure said.
Paco told Christian's mom Natisha Reynoso about his plan to surprise Christian and she wanted to help.
"He [Christian] was really sad that his dad was going to miss his whole basketball season for junior year and we just wanted to surprise him. He's a good kid," Reynoso said.
After learning about the surprise through Christian's mom, his coach also worked out a plan to reveal Paco before one of their games.
"Well I know he's very close to him. He's been asking me all season, many many times this year, 'Will you make copies of our game for him?' He's come up afterwards and saying, 'Would you mind burning me an extra DVD so I can send it to my dad?'" said Coach Ricky Stone.
Just before St. Stanislaus played Pass Christian High School in Pass Christian an announcement was made to thank a certain military member for his service to our country.
The announcer said, "We would all like to welcome Chief Petty Officer Paco Vontoure home and say a very special thank you for his service."
"I heard like, Chief Petty officer and I was like my dad? He told me he was going to be here in my heart, but I didn't know he was going to be here. So I put it all in the court," Reynoso-Vontoure said. "He's my hero."
Unfortunately Christian's team lost their game, but he will always consider it one of the best games.