Austin Sullivan guided his sister Brooke as they walked blindfolded across the court at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday night, his left hand outstretched in search of the Sacramento Kings’ mascot Slamson.
By the time Austin made contact with his target, though, the jersey-wearing lion had stepped aside for a man in U.S. Army fatigues. Sgt. First Class Shawn Sullivan greeted his children for the first time in nearly a year following a deployment to Afghanistan.
Players and fans cheered as Sullivan embraced his children while Skylar Grey’s verse of “Coming Home” blared over the stadium speakers. Sullivan, a Galt resident, later posted a Facebook video of his time in Afghanistan with the same song.
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Sullivan served 20 years in the Army, according to his Facebook page, and was previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 and 2012.
The Kings went on to win 99-92 over the Phoenix Suns, thanks to 18 points from George Hill and 17 from Zach Randolph.