Miami Heat forward Chris Silva received the best holiday gift Friday.
The Heat surprised Silva by reuniting him with his mother, Carine Minkoue Obame, whom he hadn't seen in three years, prior to their game against the Indiana Pacers. The Heat shared a video with the backstory, including the fact that Silva had seen his mother only once since moving to the United States from Gabon in 2012:
Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT
It’s been 3 years since @SilvaObame has seen his mother. Tonight they reunited and it was everything you could imagine and more. Thanks to @NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Sr. VP of Int Basketball Operations Kimberly Bohuny with the support of @NBA_Africa for making it happen. https://t.co/aIFvIpgd3x
"That must be so scary. Coming to a new country as a high school student, not knowing the language, not knowing really anything about where you're going and being dropped off and then having to have the grit and resourcefulness to make it happen without going back, without looking in the rear-view mirror and then without have the day-to-day support of your closest ones with you on this dream and this journey.
"Once you learn his story, you want to even do more for him and help him on this journey. That's the kind of quality human being he is. It's a really unique backstory, how he has been over here basically without his family and just willing his dream."
Silva's mother traveled 18 hours from their native country, according to Heat reporter Will Manso. She attended the Heat's 113-112 victory Friday and will stay for the team's matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
Silva did not play against Indiana.
The University of South Carolina product has averaged 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in 9.5 minutes across 25 games this season.