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Published December 02, 2013, 01:49 PM

Kodiak woman surprises daughter with reunion

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A Kodiak woman who had not seen her daughter in almost a year and a half surprised the sophomore basketball player at her game in Minnesota for an emotional reunion.

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A Kodiak woman who had not seen her daughter in almost a year and a half surprised the sophomore basketball player at her game in Minnesota for an emotional reunion.

Sina Timu surprised her daughter, Puni, an hour before tipoff at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, on Nov. 21. Puni attends the University of Jamestown in North Dakota.

"For me, it was like, 'Oh, my God. I can't believe she is here. I don't think this is real,'" Puni said.

The visit was arranged by Puni's teammates, who raised the money to fly Sina Timu to Minneapolis, according to the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Puni, who graduated from Kodiak High School in 2012, often spoke about how much she missed her mother.

The only person Sina told about the planned trip was her husband.

For the reunion, the team moved up its pregame activities an hour. Puni's teammates held her back as the team exited the locker room, and players and fans formed a tunnel to walk through.

Sina was at the other end of the line, waiting with a lei.

"I cried before the girls start the surprise," the mother said. "My whole body was shaking."

The two of them cried for nearly two minutes, both brought to their knees by the moment.

Jamestown ended up losing the game, but it was the first time Sina got to watch her daughter play in two years.

Mother and daughter spent Thanksgiving together. The next visit will be from Puni, who plans to spend Christmas break in Kodiak.

She said she is thankful that the reunion was arranged by her teammates and the mother of a player.

"They took it upon themselves to bring my mom out here," Puni said. "It really meant a lot, because I am really close to my family and being separated for a whole year was something that broke my heart."

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