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Penn State Hoops’ Deivis Zemgulis Gets Surprise Family Visit For Graduation

Graduation is a special time of year for all the seniors whose college careers are coming to an end. It’s the time when those seniors’ four-year journeys culminate in a weekend surrounded by family and friends.

For Penn State men’s basketball’s Deivis Zemgulis, being surrounded by family this weekend was even more special because he hadn’t seen them in four years.

Vytautas, Gitana, Aurimas, and Gabriele Zemgulis — Deivis’ father, mother, brother, and sister, respectively — made the 10-hour journey from their home country of Lithuania to be in Happy Valley for commencement weekend. The forward was totally in the dark about his family’s arrival at Penn State until they emerged from the team’s offices at the Bryce Jordan Center to surprise him.

Zemgulis, who made eight appearances off the bench for Pat Chambers’ squad this season, thought he was going to the team’s facility to take graduation photos with Penn State’s coaches and staffers. He lived with the Somerville family in Maryland while playing high school basketball, and Toyja Somerville spent the past “month or month-and-a-half” arranging the surprise.

“As nosy as Deivis is, we still can’t believe he doesn’t know that any of this is happening,” Toyja said.

Once Zemgulis’ photo op with Penn State basketball staffers and coaches wrapped up, Pat Chambers announced there was one more surprise and whisked the rest of the Zemgulises into a Bryce Jordan Center conference room. Understandably, the whole family was overcome with emotions and came together for a big group hug.

The family was at the BJC as Deivis walked across the stage at his commencement ceremony. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more heartwarming moment than the Zemgulis family reunion that took place over the weekend, which also serves as a reminder that there’s nothing more important in our lives than family.

Congratulations to Deivis Zemgulis and the rest of the class of 2019!

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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