Military Mom’s Surprise Reunion at Son’s Basketball Game

By Stefanie Tuder

Jan 20, 2014 2:05pm

Thirteen-year-old Derrick Jenkins got the surprise of his life at his middle school basketball game. Thinking he was performing a routine free throw shot, Jenkins had no idea his mother, Lt. Col. Cotina Jenkins-Sellers, was standing right behind him.

“I told my husband that I wanted to surprise Derrick and he said we would do it at a basketball game,” Jenkins-Sellers said. “He thought I was coming home February 1. We’ve been planning it for about a month and a half.”

It had been about eight months since Jenkins-Sellers, a squadron commander in Kuwait, had last seen her son. She returned home to San Antonio Jan. 16 and immediately went to the basketball game.

In the video, Jenkins misses his free throws, and his mother, silently standing behind him, says to him, “That’s alright, Derrick.” Jenkins then turns around, sees his mother and is overcome with emotion.

“I really can’t explain how his reaction made me feel,” Jenkins-Sellers said. “It was overwhelming.”

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