Just months after being shot ten times at a house party in Las Vegas, basketball player Aaliyah Gayles still managed to graduate from Spring Valley High School this week. The 18-year-old is now a University of Southern California basketball recruit.
Ranked the number eight player in her 2022 class, the survivor traveled the stage in a wheelchair on Tuesday, which she worked hard for, according to her father, Dwight.
“Words can’t even describe the feeling I feel,” he told TMZ Sports. “It wasn’t easy but she did it. I can’t be more happy for her. God is good!”
Just a few months after being shot 10 time at a Vegas house party, USC basketball recruit Aaliyah Gayles took the stage to accept her high school diploma. https://t.co/cXFCYnp97r
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) June 1, 2022
The shooting took place on April 16 and injured four people, two adults, and two juveniles. The 18-year-old’s father told the outlet that she will still play for the USC Trojans despite his daughter’s injuries since she pledged herself to the team last August.
“Doing some physical therapy,” Dwight said. “Getting back to normal one day at a time. Baby steps.”
During her senior year of high school, the five-foot-nine guard averaged 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 3.3 assists per game, resulting in the Grizzlies going to the state tournament. Aaliyah was also the first Vegas player to be named a McDonald All-American since 2010, after playing in the McDonald’s All American Game and Jordan Brand Classic.
Aaliyah rescinded her commitment to USC after Mark Trakh, the team’s former coach, retired, but then recommitted under the new coach Lindsay Gottlieb who told ESPN back in April that “Aaliyah is one of the strongest, most resilient young people” she has “ever known.”
“I have no doubt she will continue to face this unfathomable situation with courage and resolve,” she continued. “we will continue to support her and her parents in every way that we possibly can.”
Last week, Aaliyah also received the title of Las Vegas Sun Female Athlete of the Year.
Congratulations to @IsthatAg3 for winning the LV Sun Female Athlete of the Year. The final accolade to your high school career! @DGayles3 always humble and appreciative! Congrats again! pic.twitter.com/qoZO5VKKVR
— Billy Hemberger (@Billy_Hemberger) May 25, 2022