Villanova basketball star Kris Jenkins became an overnight sensation after sinking a three-point winning shot on Monday night to beat UNC and win the NCAA championship.
His biological mother, Felicia, is still in shock over her son’s big win.
“He was doubted the whole tournament,” she told IE. “I just kept saying: ‘What just happened?!’ He kept saying: ‘What can they say now?!’ We embraced, hugged and shared a moment.”
She added: “I couldn’t imagine he was that wide open on the national stage and he made the shot.”
But for the game's hero, Monday night’s win comes with even bigger bragging rights -- his brother Nate Britt plays for North Carolina.
Jenkins and Britt met at a basketball camp when they were just 11 and quickly became friends.
Following the encounter, Felicia and Jenkins’ father separated and she took a job as a coach in South Carolina. However, Felicia wanted her son to continue playing and living in Maryland with Britt’s family, who later adopted him.
“It was more about moving my son into a more stable environment so he can learn to make good decisions all the time,” she said. “A decision to help him win in life.”
The mother and son remained close and visit each other as often as they can. She looks at the Britts as her family as well.
Jenkins and Britt grew up together and later went on to different schools – Jenkins at Villanova and Britt at UNC.
On Monday night, it was the first time the brothers had played against each other at the collegiate level.
“When Kris met Nate with the teams there [at the game] the families had already won,” she said. “That is what the world didn’t know. The love in our family runs much deeper than the air in the ball room.”
And despite her son's win, Felicia says there is no bad blood between him and his brother.
“Nate is extremely happy for Kris. He knew when [Kris] caught it and no one had a hand in his face... it was going in – that is when you know your brother,” Felicia said.