SOUTH BEND, Indiana — A New Jersey member of the Notre Dame basketball team got the surprise of his life when the brother he thought was in Afghanistan walked onto the court Monday.

Bridgewater's Matt Farrell, a junior who played for Point Pleasant Beach, was standing courtside following the Fighting Irish's 77-62 win over Colgate for the traditional singing of the Notre Dame alma mater, when the crowd was directed to the video scoreboard for a message from Farrell's brother Bo, a U.S. Army Lieutenant stationed in Afghanistan.

Bo Farrell said he had been watching the game "all the way from Afghanistan" and was looking forward to seeing him "really, really soon."

As Matt cried and was focused on the message, Bo walked out of the locker room and embraced his brother, to Matt's complete surprise.

Matt Farrell as a member of the Point Pleasant Beach boys basketball team (Bill Normile)

According to WNDU-TV, the reunion has been planned for weeks, and Notre Dame's coach knew what was going to happen at the end of this final game before Christmas break.

Matt said it was "the best present he's ever gotten," according to the report. He tweeted out a one-word reaction: "Surreal."

Matt Farrell is cousin to Thomas Farrell, who has worked part-time with New Jersey 101.5.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

Tommy Farrell contributed to this report.