SACRAMENTO -- Tressa Ohler thought she would have to ring in the new year without her youngest son, Navy sailor Austin Kropp.
Kropp is on a nine-month deployment in Japan. It can be tough on Ohler.
"It is scary and he is my baby. He's my youngest," she said.
But Kropp, 21, had some tricks up his sleeve for the holidays.
He worked with the Sacramento Kings for three weeks to pull off a surprise the Sunday before Christmas. He surprised his mom in front of thousands of NBA fans at the Golden 1 Center.
"I almost passed out. No, I just can't believe it," Ohler told FOX40.
The moment was incredibly sweet, with tears, hugs and pure joy -- but it also came with a big price tag for Kropp.
"This is my effort to give back to him for what he's done for me," she said.
Ohler started a GoFundMe to raise money to pay off the loan her son took out to pay for his flights.
"They don't get paid a lot over there and he's such a sweet boy and if I could pay it, I would," she said.
But for now, Ohler and her son have over a week to make up for lost time.