Before every game, Mom receives hugs from her late son’s basketball teammates.

A mother who recently lost her son tells how she and her husband find comfort whenever his former basketball teammates hug them both before a game.

Ely Dehart was a member of the S-E-M boys basketball team and loved basketball more than anything else in the world. Jennifer Dehart, his mother, says she feels her late son’s presence when members of that team embrace her and say, “We got you, momma.”

It’s only been 15 months since Ely died in a rollover accident near Amherst, but his mother and father are still treated with kindness and love by the Sumner-Eddyville-Miller Mustangs.

We can’t imagine how Jennifer and her husband felt after their child died, but when they returned to the S-E-M gym for the Mustangs’ 2021 season opener, they were greeted with roses and hugs from the team.

“Every time we go to their games, they’ll hunt me down and give me a hug,” the bereaved mother explained. “It means everything to me because it’s the best feeling.” It’s hard not having Ely here to hug me every day, so when they hug me, it’s like my child is hugging me through them.”

Ely Dehart brought joy to his family, community, and school. He enjoyed giving everyone hugs and used to play basketball with all of his cousins. However, while driving home with two friends in 2020, he lost control of the vehicle and died from brain trauma caused by a rollover crash.

His family has honored his memory by donating all of his organs to people in need. “The basketball team and his coaches were all at the hospital with us the second they found out,” Jennifer Dehart said of the difficult time they went through after Ely’s death and the support they received. “The entire town was so supportive of us; I couldn’t have asked for a better community because they were there for me the whole time.”

Jennifer Dehart has been posting about her late son on social media, and a video she posted recently went viral on TikTok with 4.2 million views, and it was also shared on Facebook and Twitter. “It’s insane; I never thought that would happen in a million years,” she said. “I was just messing around with some music and posted it to demonstrate how much I cared about those kids, and it just went crazy.”

People were moved by the kindness and love shown to her family by the S-E-M basketball team members, demonstrating that they cared about them even though Ely was gone. Community support and love are what keep the Dehart family going. “There’s a piece of my heart that will always be missing, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as easy if we didn’t have such a wonderful community and people around me,” she said. “I’m grateful for that.”

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Before every game, Mom receives hugs from her late son’s basketball teammates.
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