It was college basketball’s biggest game, and it was brother versus brother. Well, so to speak. Although Villanova player Kris Jenkins went to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, he and his mom lived in South Carolina. Kris’s mom, Felicia, was unable to take care of him as well as she wanted, so she asked friends of the family, the Britts, if they would look after Kris while she took a job coaching a Division II basketball team. The Britts had a young son named Nate, and agreed, legally adopting Kris in 2007.
The rest reads like a story out of Hollywood. Kris and Nate both played basketball together at Gonzaga College High School. They then chose separate colleges, dreaming of one day playing each other at the next level. On Monday, April 4, 2016, they got that chance, facing off in college basketball’s biggest game as Villanova and UNC squared off for the NCAA Championship.
For both the Britts and Felicia, it could have been difficult rooting for one of their sons over the other. But that’s not how they looked at it. There was nothing but love and hope between these two families. Kris loved his mom and at the same time owed so much to the Britts, and loved Nate as a real brother.
The game was a nail-biter from start to finish, and with only seconds left to play, the score was tied at 74. Villanova had the ball. Ryan Arcidiacono brought the ball down court before smartly passing it to Jenkins who made the jumper at the buzzer and sank the three-pointer for the win. The crowd went wild, and this Gonzaga High School alum from humble beginnings became an instant star.
In true Jesuit brotherly fashion, his adopted brother Nate, whose North Carolina team felt the cold sting of that incredible shot, was joyful for his former Gonzaga teammate. He said he was certainly glad it was Kris who hit the shot, and not somebody else.