LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A top ten basketball recruit in the country was shot 10 times at a North Las Vegas house party, less than two months after the ordeal she received her high school diploma in front of a cheering crowd.
18-year-old Aaliyah Gayles was one of four people shot a house party in April. Gayles was shot 10 times on her lower extremities including both arms and legs.
Gayles, a USC commit, is ranked number 8 in the country by ESPN.
On May 31st, less than two months after the shooting, Gayles was wheeled across the stage to accept her diploma from Spring Valley High School. She said she was honored to be wheeled across the stage by her coach.
“More than just basketball wise he care for you like he has character. He sees me as me not just a basketball player,” Gayles said.
She was moved to tears from the support she received at her graduation.
“They think they could like, take my life away but you know I’m here I made it finally I still get to continue life and when I rolled up on that stage it was just like wow,” Gayles said.
Gayles’s recovery is showing progress one step at a time.
“Movement is getting pretty well. I won’t say it’s great but it’s getting better than the last time you guys saw me,” Gayles said.
She’s in physical therapy every day.
“Just getting up in a wheelchair, random motion in my arms, legs, sitting on the edge of the bed,” Gayles listed.
Her road to recovery is long, but not lonely. Friends and family brought prom to her.
“I never thought I could go to prom cause how I am. But since you know creative ideas my family got they thought to bring it hear so – that for me is like love,” Gayles said.
FOX5 asked what helps Gayles stay positive through her recovery. She said a group with her coach.
“We have like this group chat with him and his wife, and my grandma. But we have this group chat where it’s like word of the day and every day we’re saying words to keep us staying positive staying motivated,” Gayles said.
She’s even turned her perspective on her scars around.
“Well everyday I look at my scars I even have a favorite scar. Yeah so everyday I look at my scars and I just think about they really tried to take my life away. But I wake up every day and be like – I’m here. Like I got me,” Gayles said.
She’s planning on heading to Southern California sometime this month. She’s determined on a comeback.
“Just getting back on my feet again, learn how to walk again and surprising the world- shocking the world cause a lot of people can’t come back from this traumatic story,” Gayles said.
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