IU South Bend sophomore Joe Godfread returned to the basketball court Saturday for the first time since his mother Rachelle was killed in the Martin's Supermarket shootings in Elkhart.
On Wednesday night, Joe played for the Titans in a game in Illinois. Just a few minutes after the game ended, his mother was one of the two women murdered inside Martin's.
Late Friday night, Joe made the decision that he wanted to play in Saturday's game.
"He told me he wanted to play and we both thought it was a good idea," Joe's older brother Michael Godfread said. "He needed something to do with his time just as a reprieve. Basketball has always been a reprieve for us just to get away from the world and this is how he could remain strong during this time."
Michael and the rest of the Godfread family sat just behind the IU South Bend bench supporting Joe.
The emotions were certainly high. Joe broke down in tears as a moment of silence was held before the game to honor his late mother. Teammates grabbed hold of him and consoled him.
Rachelle, a single mother of the two, actively attended both her son's basketball games growing up. She also attended a lot of Joe's games since he started playing at IU South Bend.
Michael says both he and his brother were very close with their mother.
"My mother was the most loving, caring, vibrant person in the world and she was our whole life," Michael said. "It's a very emotional time for us. I just know she would want my brother here playing and in school."
Joe did not start the game as he usually does but entered about five minutes into the contest against Robert Morris. It took Joe just eight seconds to score his first points. He finished with nine points and three blocks.
"I'm very proud," Michael said of his brother. "We are all very proud of Joe. He comes off a stoic and soft spoken a lot of times but he's a very passionate and strong person."
IU South Bend lost the game 84-71.