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Published March 08, 2012, 10:57 PM

Mandan basketball player gets special message from deployed father

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A North Dakota teenager is glowing after a special surprise she never imagined, moments before battling on the basketball court. The Mandan teammate got a grateful good luck from her father who's fighting in war.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

A North Dakota teenager is glowing after a special surprise she never imagined, moments before battling on the basketball court. The Mandan teammate got a grateful good luck from her father who's fighting in war.

It's every athlete's dream to have their parents cheer them on at state, let alone just be there. That happened here, in a very unique way.

Traveling from Mandan to Fargo has been quite the journey for the Braves, but the girls’ basketball team is just getting warmed up as its exciting time at the Class A state tournament is about to begin..

Lori Thompson – Military Ovation: “And someone had a very special message for you today, so if you want to slip on the headphones.”

Lee Peterson – 112th Aviation Regiment: “Hello, my name is Lee Peterson. I'm currently stationed at a camp in Kosovo. I'd like to say good luck to the Mandan girls’ and boys’ basketball teams at state this weekend. I'd like to say a little something special to my daughter Chelsea Peterson. I love and miss you and good luck.”

Lori Thompson: “Your dad wanted you to know that he's really proud of you.”

For number 30, the moving moment is too much. Even Chelsea Peterson's teammates are emotional.

Chelsea Peterson: “I was not expecting it at all. I just talked to him on the phone earlier.”

The proud daughter last saw her soldier dad for about 15 minutes on Skype around Christmas.

Chelsea Peterson: “And the last time I actually saw him was September before he left.”

This here is heartfelt. You see, Sergeant Peterson won't be home for at least one year. His unit was the last to go to Kosovo to provide civilian work. For the traveling team, it's a loss. He's been with the girls as an assistant coach since his sophomore was in 3rd grade.

Chelsea Peterson: “He was always at every game. I don't know; this is the 1st year that he's ever been away from us. Yeah. It's kind of hard I guess.”

Mandan lost against Shanley, 45 - 35. The team will play again tomorrow in consolation semifinals.

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