Ailing Wisconsin man astounds daughter during basketball parents’ night

Randy Knecht, a Wisconsin resident, has spent a significant portion of his life supporting his former high school’s sports program. Unfortunately, due to his declining health, he was unable to witness his daughter, Ana, participate in the same school’s athletic events.

Earlier this month, however, Knecht and his friends came up with a plan to surprise Ana at her high school’s basketball parents’ night.

Knecht made a decision a few months ago to attend the parents’ night game as a way to demonstrate his support for his daughter, he shared with “Good Morning America”.

After dedicating over two decades to coaching football and basketball at Cochrane-Fountain City High School, Knecht is now undergoing treatment for various health conditions, including diabetes, at a medical facility in Wabash, Minnesota.

“I started the plan with a goal,” Knecht explained. “I set a target for myself to be out of this place in time for Ana’s parents’ night.”


While discussing his desire to attend Ana’s game with two close friends, Knecht came up with a brilliant idea. The idea soon transformed into a plan to surprise Ana, who had already been informed by her father that he would not be able to attend the game.

Knecht shared that her daughter expressed complete understanding and support for her father’s need to prioritize his well-being. She recalled her daughter saying, “Dad, I completely understand. Your health comes first. Do whatever it takes to get better.”

On the night of the game, Knecht’s friends came to pick him up and drove him to the exciting event. As he stepped onto the court, he was filled with joy and quickly embraced his daughter, who was pleasantly surprised to see him there. Before the game began, he took a moment to share a few heartfelt words with her.

In the captured video, which was shared by ABC affiliate WXOW, Ana’s emotions are evident as she walks towards the center court. With tears in her eyes, she tightly holds a single rose and proceeds to embrace Knecht, who is sitting in an electric wheelchair and also visibly moved.

“I was completely caught off guard and it took me by surprise,” expressed Ana Knecht in a conversation with WXOW. “I honestly felt like I was in a dream. My immediate reaction was to embrace my mother tightly and let the tears flow. I then walked over to him, gave him a warm hug, and greeted him with a cheerful hello.”

“I expressed my deep affection for Annie and highlighted the effort we both put into organizing this,” Knecht shared, emphasizing that he didn’t want his surprise to distract Annie from her focus during the game.

During the game, Knecht, who has a visual impairment, experienced a remarkable moment. As Ana scored a basket, he was suddenly able to see with perfect vision, as if he had 20/20 eyesight. This particular moment held great significance for him, and he fondly refers to the entire event as “The best day of my life.”

“It was a heartwarming sight to see everyone gathered for parents’ night,” expressed Rick Peterson, the girls’ basketball coach at Cochrane-Fountain City High School. Reflecting on the event, he described it as a deeply emotional experience for all those present.”

Knecht expressed that during challenging times, especially when experiencing excruciating pain, turning to his computer and watching the video serves as a therapeutic remedy.

Knecht added that after the events of parents’ night, he didn’t want to say that he didn’t care, but he couldn’t help but feel indifferent about what happens to him now.

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