Why the wait? Since 2000, Smith has been serving time on her 20-year cocaine distribution sentence, putting her away when her son was just 12 years old.
But that changed Sunday, as Smith attended her first game since she was one of 46 prisoners whose sentences President Obama reduced in July 2015.
In letters written to all inmates whose sentences he commuted, President Obama wrote that he was doing so because “you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around. Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity.”
Smith clearly wasted little time. To celebrate her first time sitting in the stands as a fan and proud mother, she had a custom jersey made up, featuring the words “Bay Bay’s Mama” on the back along with Thomas’ number, 88.
“Mom didn't put any pressure on me. There wasn't any pressure that I haven't had here. I was just excited she was here for her first game. We came out with a win to make it even better," Thomas said in a statement.
Thomas was released on Nov. 10, 2015, five years prior to her official release year. Per the terms, she is not allowed to travel outside of Georgia for 60 days.