A year after the pandemic denied the Jones girls basketball team the chance to play in their first state tournament, they made it again this year, and won the whole thing.
“This year, we finally won, we played and won, it felt amazing," said sophomore point guard Boston Berry.
The trophy, the net, it’s all there. But there was one thing missing for Boston and her family.
Boston's father Michael Berry was admitted to the ER on December 23 after contracting COVID-19.
His oxygen levels were extremely low and a couple days later, they were preparing to put Michael on a ventilator, but not before a FaceTime call with his wife Kathleen and his four children.
“I had asked, 'OK, do my kids need to be there?' They said, ‘Yeah, this could be the last time they ever talk to their dad,’” Kathleen said.
Kathleen would not see her husband for two months. Michael had been in a comatose state until recently.
In fact, it was basketball that led to a breakthrough.
Michael was unable to watch the state title game, so Kathleen texted her husband the score at halftime.
“He sent me the first text that I had received from my husband in three months. I guess I had forgotten to put we were winning. He sent back, ‘us,’ which I thought was a great word anyway," Kathleen said.
Michael is now improving by the day. He can talk again and just recently started eating.
Though he will need to learn to walk again, Kathleen is hoping for a homecoming in the next two months.
“Both my husband and the girls, they kept fighting. And I’m proud of them all. Very, very proud," Kathleen said.