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Columbus basketball standout gets hit by a car while reportedly helping homeless person

AJ Davis has that kind of talent you can’t teach.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — AJ Davis has that kind of talent you can’t teach.

“He’s just athletically gifted,” John Davis said. “He’s athletically gifted. He’s a really good basketball player.”

John is AJ’s first cousin. He says AJ was gifted in high school, then at James Madison, then when he played overseas, then in the NBA G-League. This past weekend his team might have lost, but teammate Cody Ballard says Davis scored 29 points.

Credit: Cody Ballard

“Ah, yeah, that’s what AJ does,” Ballard said smiling. “AJ’s going to put the ball in the basket.”

But this story isn’t about what happens on the hardwood. It’s about what happens when the hard truth of life comes charging in.

“Things happen for a reason,” John said. “And his life has a bigger purpose than basketball.”

It was Wednesday night when police say Davis pulled off of I-70 West to the ramp on Hamilton Road.

“He was just doing a good deed for somebody like he always does,” Davis said.

At the end of that ramp, police say Davis stopped, got out of his car and was getting food and drinks out of his trunk for a homeless person when another vehicle hit him.

Since then, Davis has been in the hospital heavily sedated. Family told 10TV the extent of his injuries but out of respect for them, we’ve decided not to publish that information because AJ himself doesn’t know.

“No,” Davis said. “He doesn’t know his injuries yet.”

In the coming days, his family hopes AJ will come to.

“Just be there for him [and] support him that’s just the best that we can do,” Davis said. “Just keep showing him that love and letting him know, like, life’s not over.”

His life isn’t over. There’s more to him than the game he loves.

“He’ll find it deep inside himself,” Ballard said. “He’ll find a way to make it positive.”

He has his support system; family and friends and the city of Columbus. All, Davis says, will be there to push AJ and remind him his story isn’t about his game, but about his character.

“He was great,” Davis said before cutting himself off. “He is a great person. I ain’t going to say was, he is a great person. He’s going to continue to be that.”

The police report says the driver who hit Davis was treated for a possible broken arm. A search warrant was obtained for that driver, which appeared to show signs of impairment from alcohol and or drugs.

The family of AJ Davis has set up a fundraising effort to help with medical costs.