Charles Barkley had to wait a little longer than expected, but in the end the basketball badyst sent love and good wishes to Auburn gymnast Samantha Cerio.
Shortly after No. 1 Virginia downed Texas Tech in overtime for the NCAA Championship, Barkley, a former Auburn star, received a message for Cerio, who dislocated both knees and sustained multiple ligaments in both knees after his blind landed floor exercise
"There's a young woman at Auburn University, who broke her leg in a gymnastics contest the other day," Barkley said Monday night after the game on CBS. "I want to give you my love and tell you," War Eagle "Samantha Serio, I hope you pronounce her name well, young lady.
"I saw your devastating leg injury, you graduate from Auburn, we love you, we're proud of you, War Eagle."
Cerio's legs were bent during an exercise on the floor over the weekend at LSU when he landed badly at the end of a race. She immediately grasped both legs in pain.
The meeting was delayed, while medical workers placed splints on both legs. They took her out of Pete Maravich's badembly center to a standing ovation.
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.