ASU star player suffered hole in heart

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News 12 at 11, March 27, 2008

TIGNALL, Ga.---The day will go in the history books for Augusta State, but earlier this season one player's mother worried she would never see this day for her son.

"Y'all gotta holler defense!" Melissa Bowman cheered to her friends and family as they watched the National Semi-Final game.

She can't help but get into a game when her son AJ plays.

"I wish I was there because we had our own cheer section and so we could be there and root em on," she said.

Even without his mother's cheers AJ is a star on the team. The two-time All-American has scored the second-most points in school history.

But even still, his dad says it hasn't gone to his head.

"He doesn't like to shine; he'd rather stay in the background," said Aaron Bowman.

Through all the glory, there's one day last year that sticks out in his mom's mind. It's the day AJ called and told her something was wrong.

"That's when he went on and told me he had a hole in his heart," she said.

And her heart sank. She worried whether he would ever play basketball again.

"Once you hear about something like that and when it's your own child...everything goes out the dooor, [you] just go speechless," Melissa said.

AJ went through minor surgery, but it never slowed him down. He scored eighteen of the team's fifty-six points in the semi-final game.

"Oh I'm proud, very proud," his mother said.

And when the game got close, some had their fingers crossed, but this mother said they didn't need the luck.

"I got faith, they gonna pull it out," she said.

And as they now head to the championship, Melissa says there's no losing in sight.

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