Meyers Leonard was practicing with his Fighting Illini teammates when he noticed something strange happening. All eyes seemed to be on him, and anticipation filled in the arena. Then he saw the neatly dressed figure walking onto the court. That’s when he broke down in tears.
The backstory is what makes this moment so powerful. The neatly dressed man was his big brother Bailey, who, to Meyer’s knowledge, was supposed to be out of the country fulfilling his U.S. Marine duties. Myers and Bailey lost their dad when they were young boys. In the video, Bailey talks about his role as the older brother; “Despite me only being 22 months older than Myers, I like to think of myself as somewhat of a fatherly figure.”
The bond they share was made even stronger after the passing of their father because the two of them and their mother went through hard times. They had no electricity and water for a time, and slept on the living room floor with only candles to keep light.
Bailey eventually joined the Marine Corps, which devastated Myers because his older bro would now not be directly in his life. Because of his service, Bailey hadn’t been able to visit Myers to see him play basketball in years. Bailey, however, was able to take a short leave of absence to come watch his little brother play ball, which is where we end up in this beautiful reunion video below.
Share this with your family and friends as a reminder of the power of family!