The Spurs were the heroes in our hearts on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their series against the Rockets. But there was another hero on the court.

He made a surprise entrance before the game, and his children were overjoyed to see him again.

It had been more than a year since Air Force Staff Sergeant James Thompson had seen his kids.

“Whenever you’re away from your kids for an extended period of time, you go on with your daily life, but when you have time to think, that’s all you think about is your kids,” Thompson said.

And for his kids, the time can seem even longer when you consider all of Thompson’s previous deployments: Florida, Montana, Japan and, most recently, Southeast Asia.

“Every chance that I get, for me to see my kids on FaceTime, interact with them in any way, I take full advantage,” he said.

Now, he’s home for good. He arrived on Sunday, but with so much Spurs spirit in San Antonio, he wanted to hold off seeing his family until Game 5 on Tuesday.

“I’m a huge Spurs fan. My kids are huge Spurs fans. And this is something that I know they will never forget, and that I will never forget,” Thompson said. “They have no clue. Both think I’m coming [at the] end of May or beginning of June.”

Ten-year-old Caitelyn and 7-year-old James, aka “Cowboy,” thought that they were going to a Spurs game with their uncle. But their dad and the Spurs had difference plans.

They orchestrated the surprise of a lifetime. The perfect welcome home, for a San Antonio hero.

And it was the perfect reunion for a Spurs family.