Military Mom Receives Surprise of a Lifetime

Stephanie Grau Contributor
kings welcome home PFC. Brandon Covey
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Vanesa Ibarra thought she was just randomly called on to volunteer for a first-quarter timeout dunking contest during a Sacramento Kings Game earlier this month. But what ended up happening was much more than just some fan entertainment.

While blindfolded, Ibarra was asked to stand under the basket as a dunk team used trampolines to jump over her and make impressive slam dunks above her head.

One by one, a series of players performed the dunk until there was one man left — conspicuously wearing a U.S. Army uniform.

The last man in line carrying a basketball ran towards the trampoline, only to sidestep, drop his basketball and approach Ibarra.

The announcer shouted “Wait a minute — he’s not on the dunk team!” while U.S. Army Pfc. Brandon Covey removed his mom’s blindfold.

“Ladies and gentlemen just returning from South Korea!” the announcer says as Ibarra, stunned, shouts with happiness.

The black hawk helicopter crew chief had just returned home after a six-month deployment in the Republic of South Korea, and took great lengths to give his mother a surprise of a lifetime. According to the King’s, Covey was part of an elaborate plan to greet his mother at the Golden 1 Center that Sunday.

Ibarra, overwhelmed with joy, threw her arms around her son and they shared a lengthy embrace on the court.

To Pfc. Brandon Covey, we salute you for your service. To the Sacramento Kings, we salue you for helping organize the welcome back that Vanesa deserved.