It was a big win for the Boston Celtics, and an even bigger win for a local family when their deployed son surprised them on the court at Monday night’s basketball game.
During the Celtics’ game against the Detroit Pistons, family members of Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Noll were brought down to the court to receive a special message on the Jumbotron from overseas.
"I'm looking forward to coming home soon," said Noll, who has been doing tours in Iraq, Jordan and Qatar for the last seven months.
But what his family did not know was that Noll was actually delivering the message from one of the arena locker rooms.
"It'll be a once in a lifetime experience," he said, as he prepared to surprise his family. "I'm so excited to do it."
Noll then emerged from the tunnel, and made his way to the court, shocking his family.
On Seats for Soldiers night at the Garden, an armed forces member surprises his unsuspecting family on the court with his return home. pic.twitter.com/6H0CGzFsOW— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017
He was greeted by tearful embraces from his parents and other family members as the crowd gave the family a standing ovation.
Even basketball players, including the Celtics' star point guard Isaiah Thomas, rallied behind the emotional family reunion.
"You could just see it, as a family, they were so surprised, so happy, they were probably at a loss for words," he told reporters after the game. "All we can do is clap but that's what life is really about."