Meyers Leonard was the 11th pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. That alone is typically the happy ending for most college basketball players. However, Leonard isn’t like most NBA players. His dad died in a freak accident when he was 6. He was raised by his big brother, Bailey, who was only two years older than him. Along with their mom, the three slept on the floor without electricity or furniture and struggled to survive while growing up.
Then, Bailey went off and joined the Marines, one of the few ways a poor kid from the small town of Robinson, Ill., could make a better life for themselves. Meyers went off to become a basketball star at Illinois. On Wednesday night, he tweeted this video from earlier this year when Bailey surprised him by flying home from his second tour of Afghanistan to watch his brother play college hoops for the first time.
Illinois lost the March 1st game to Michigan, but Meyers dropped 18 points and pulled in nine boards in the loss. However, he really won because Bailey was there. Breakout the tissues for this one. [Thanks, Kirsten!]