SCORECARD, SEPT. 25, 2006
IN THE weeks following a shooting outside a campus party that left five of his players wounded, first-year Duquesne coach Ron Everhart felt he he'd had enough of hospitals for a while. But last month he came down with a gastrointestinal ailment, and on Dec. 28 he was back in the hospital. The scene, though, was different: Everhart was listening to the radio and jumping up and down as sophomore Aaron Jackson hit a three-pointer in the Dukes' 98--93 upset of Boston College.
Days later Everhart was back with his team, and Jackson (below), who was shot in the wrist on Sept. 17, was Atlantic 10 player of the week. At 5--10, the team has nearly doubled its win total from last year. More significant, all the shooting victims are recovering well. Shawn James and Kojo Mensah practice but can't play yet because they are transfers. Stuard Baldonado, who was shot in the arm and the back, is taking a medical redshirt year, and Sam Ashaolu, shot twice in the head, is in Pittsburgh finishing rehab. It's unclear if Ashaolu will play again, but he has begun shooting around. "He's just a miracle," Everhart says.
The investigation into the shooting continues—four suspects have been arraigned—but for the players, the focus is on the court. "I have a scar on my wrist," says Jackson, "but I don't pay attention to that. I'm blessed."