Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had someone in the stands watching him that helped motivate him during Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers: his mother.
Katina Smith, who had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for cocaine trafficking, was recently released in November after serving 15 years. On Sunday, she was finally able to see her son play football for the first time at Sports Authority Field.
A great moment happened after the final seconds ticked off at the end of the game, when Peyton Manning handed Thomas the game ball and told him to give it to his mother.
Thomas caught up with his mother after the game, where the celebrating continued with his teammates and their families.
Demaryius Thomas carried that ball out of the locker room, reunited with his mom in a hallway in the bowels of the stadium.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) January 18, 2016
Thomas and his mom were swarmed by teammates and their families. Lots of hugs and pictures. She grasped his arm as they left the stadium.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) January 18, 2016
Thomas was relatively quiet and had four receptions for 40 yards in the 23-16 win, but some things are more important than football.