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Father surprises daughter on basketball parents' night despite battling severe illness

A resilient father battling illness surprises his daughter with a touching gesture on basketball parents' night.

Father surprises daughter on basketball parents' night despite battling severe illness
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WXOW News 19

Physical ailments become an obstacle to life and prevent people from attending events they need to be present. Individuals who have had major health issues end up missing quite a bit of such crucial events in their lives because of their condition. However, a few of them overcome all difficulties and show up where they need to be, even with their deteriorating physical state. Similarly, former Cochrane-Fountain City coach Randy Knecht was unable to see his daughter, Ana Knecht, perform in various athletic events at her school because of numerous health issues.


He is currently diagnosed with diabetes and kidney failure, as reported by WXOW News 19. Adding to that, he also had to get his right leg amputated, which meant that he had to stay in the hospital for many months. Randy was missing out on too much, and one of his best friends, Joey Arneson, stepped in to change things around with "Operation: Flea Flicker." Arneson had to make the plan discreetly with Randy so that his daughter, Ana, would not come to know about it.


Arneson spoke about how difficult it was to plan the surprise event, saying, "The only time we could talk about it was when Randy and I were on the phone together. It was difficult because I wanted to tell everybody else about it. 'Hey, I want you guys to come. I want you guys to be part of this.' Yet I had to be quiet or the word would have got out and Ana would have probably heard. It was difficult, but we enjoyed it."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Bk Aguilar
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Bk Aguilar

The basic plan was for Randy to surprise Ana during her game on Tuesday, which also happened to be the team's Parents Night. Ana's name was called out on the speaker in the court and as she walked out, the crowd cried out in happiness. The girl had no idea about the surprise she was in for and turned around to see her dad coming to the middle of the basketball court in his wheelchair. The duo embraced a heartwarming hug later in the bleachers.

Randy reflected on how Ana retained a positive attitude and had a cheery characteristic to her, which he admired. He also spoke about how doing physical therapy and all the treatment wore him down. But he used his three kids as a motivation to recover and get back to life. Ana spoke about the surprise, saying, "I had no idea and I was very shocked. I thought I was in a dream. I just hugged my mom and cried. I went down and hugged him and said hello."

The girl performed well during the game, to her father's joy, even scoring a layup during the first half that excited him. It was a proud moment for Randy to see his daughter play well in a state-ranked team. Having been a coach for 25 years, he has a unique connection to the sport, which made the surprise even more special for him. Ana ended up scoring five points altogether and it was by far her best performance in a varsity game. She and her father will most likely remember this match for many years to come.


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