Ohio State freshman center Ibrahima Diallo left Senegal in 2016 to pursue basketball in the United States.
He hadn't seen his family since, until now.
With a few weeks off before classes begin, Diallo decided to head back to Senegal to surprise his family, who he had not seen in over three years.
The fellas are getting a few weeks back home to give all their great Moms a big hug. Ibrahima decided to surprise his family in Senegal. Its been over 3 yrs since hes seen his family. Special moment! pic.twitter.com/rhdPOPHens— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) July 31, 2019
Diallo knew when he left Senegal it would be hard for his family, but they were always supportive of him.
“My mom just started crying like every day because she knows I really want to do this and she wanted me to go follow my dream, but she was saying that's going to be hard for them," Diallo told Eleven Warriors in February. “Just letting your son just go to another life like so far and don't know nobody there.”
It wasn't just his family shedding the tears, the move was certainly hard on Diallo himself, as well.
“Oh my goodness. In my old school, my first month, I was crying every day,” Diallo said. “I would say, like, 'I'm not going to practice. Just send me back home.' I was just saying, like, I don't want to play basketball anymore, just send me back home. It was the hardest thing to wake up every day and not see your parents. It's so hard, it's so hard.”
But now Diallo is in Columbus, one step closer to achieving his dream. And now – at least for a short time – he gets to share his journey with his family again.