MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — One middle schooler was shocked Wednesday night at who walked into the room.
Kadin Griffith was gearing up for what he thought would be just another basketball game, and it turned out to be anything but.
His cousin Quentin has been out of state for about a year now serving in the military.
“I was excited to see him.”
It’s been a long year for Kadin Griffith. His cousin Quentin left Illinois to serve in the army.
“We love him.” And Wednesday night, a surprise homecoming left him with a big smile.
“He inspires me, because in high school and all through his years he played.”
It was all engineered by family members and school staff –after Mattoon Athletic Director Jamie Sharp was approached with a plan.
“From there we went through the details, scripted out a moment.”
A moment that played out before their basketball game, for all to see.
“We told him his parents had shared something, they had a surprise for him.”
Griffith says he was floored — “I was excited and pumped, wanted to do good in the game too for him.”
He says his cousins arrival was completely unexpected, and it’s a moment that meant a lot to other students and staff too.
“You’ve got someone who is serving their country, you’ve got a student who does well here at school… it’s a way that we can all share in that.” You had students talking about how it brought tears to their eyes, and teachers thought it was cool.”