ALBANY, GA (WALB) - 19 year old Tyeshia Smith is celebrating, because her mother will be coming home soon. The Darton State College basketball player's mother is one of 46 people whose prison sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.
Smith, a Darton State College sophomore, was only three years old when her mother went to prison for drug trafficking. The President announced yesterday her mother will be released in November, and naturally Tye is ready to reunite with her.
Smith was helping coach the Lea Henry Camp For Champs yesterday when the president made his announcement. She learned on social media her mother's sentence had been commuted. "I screamed. Cried, happy, everything. Called everybody like she told me to," Smith said.
42 year old Katrina Smith and her grandmother Minnie Pearl Thomas were convicted of drug trafficking in 2010. Smith was sentenced to serve 24 years in prison. President Obama said that sentence was too severe, and commuted it to expire November 10th.
Tye was raised by relatives, knowing her mother could not be there with her. "Probably since I was ten," she said. "When I really got the fact that she was gone. And seeing everybody else with their mother, and I didn't have mine."
The two have stayed close, as her mother serves her sentence in a federal prison in Tallahassee. Her mother's name is tattooed on Tye's leg. "So I could have it to look down at it before the games."
Do she look at it often? "Everyday. Before practice, before games. Before I go to class, when I wake up. When I go to sleep."
Tye says one thrill will be having her Mother in the stands to see her play. "Get her a place to stay. And come to some of my games. And we'll just reunite as a big old family."
Tyeshia is rated one of the top 40 Junior College basketball players in the nation, and headed to a national all star game next week. But today she says it's a dream come true that her Mother will soon be home.
Smith spoke to her mother on the phone last night, and said she is happy to be coming home. Smith's brother is Denver Broncos star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and he today also is thanking the President for commuting his mother's sentence.