CARLISLE — Tuesday night's game between State College and Carlisle turned out to be more than just senior night for Thundering Herd guard Ben Nix.
It was a reunion with his father, Col. Delton Nix.
Delton Nix surprised his son and daughter, Morgan, at halftime after seven months in Afghanistan. His return understandably drew a great bit of joy from Ben Nix, who entered the night averaging 2.4 points in 20 games for the Herd (9-12).
Carlisle won 54-39 in an upset, and Ben Nix finished with eight points, three rebounds, a steal and assist.
Athletic director George Null and head coach Andre Anderson said prior to Tuesday's game that the idea was hatched by the booster club and president Erika Dougherty.
"We are very lucky that [Ben] came out and played, he's been a pleasure to be around," Anderson said via text Monday night. "He established himself very quickly as a first-game starter after starring on the football field the last few years. As a young man, there's not a nicer, more respectful kid on this team and possibly in this school. He's a high-character kid that never backs down and never stops playing as hard as he can."
Here is video of the emotional reunion inside Gene Evans Gymnasium:
Try not to cry. @CHSboysbball had a little surprise for senior Ben Nix tonight. His dad, Col. Delton Nix, returned home after 7 months in Afghanistan, unbeknownst to Ben and his sister. pic.twitter.com/ssg4cempgw— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) February 6, 2019
"I think this really shows what life is all about," Anderson said.
Check out cumberlink.com/sports Wednesday for more coverage on the Nix family reunion. A game recap from Little Lions vs. Thundering Herd will run Tuesday night.