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Months after being hit in face in Aurora shootings, senior is back starring on the court

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

It is a near miracle that McKayla Hicks is alive. That she is back starring on a basketball court is beyond that; it’s almost a matter of divine intervention.

Among the victims of the Aurora movie theater shootings in July, Hicks was struck when a bullet from the adjoining theater to the one in which she sat pierced the wall and struck her directly in the face. According to Denver network KUSA, Hicks caught blood and her own teeth in her hands immediately after being hit by one of the bullets fired after midnight.

Hicks was taken to the hospital in a police car, bleeding profusely and with significant damage throughout her face, predominantly to her teeth, gums and nerves. She was then told that she would have to live with the bullet lodged in her face for more than a month, and that she would have to have braces put back on her teeth.

Throughout it all, she refused to let the injuries she suffered keep her from living the life she always had. Within weeks Hicks was back in the movie theaters to see the film she had showed up for on July 20, The Dark Knight. As soon as she could, she was back shooting jumpers on a basketball court.

Now, she’s again starring for the Bennett (Colo.) High Tigers. And she says that her injury and the entire shooting incident has helped put life in perspective, all while giving her even more determined to live the life she dreams of.

"The fact that I got a couple of teeth to replace means a lot rather than replacing one of my best friends or a family member," Hicks told KUSA. "Just that I can still shoot, run, scream, cheer, everything. It makes you look at life in a different perspective. It makes you realize some of the troubles you go through probably aren't as bad as the troubles others are going through.

"I'm just grateful to be sitting here in this gym, about to play the sport I love.”

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