PITTSBURGH (AP) -Fittingly, Sam Ashaolu was standing on the court at a pregame shootaround, wearing his Duquesne University basketball sweats, when he received the best news of his life.
The former player who has inspired a college campus with his determination to graduate despite being the most seriously wounded of the five Duquesne basketball players shot in September 2006 will receive his college diploma on Thursday.
Ashaolu nearly died of head wounds in the horrific shootings that rocked an urban campus that had just been chosen as one of the nation's safest.
He needed multiple operations to save his life, endured seizures and recurring hospital stays and, months after his recovery was underway, was told he couldn't play again because it was too risky to remove bullet fragments lodged in his brain.

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