Sundiata Gaines survived an accidental shooting at age 4

Stefan Bondy pens a great piece on Sundiata Gaines’s most fearful childhood memory, being accidentally shot at just four years old:

“I knew something was wrong. I knew I was bleeding,” Gaines says. “I didn’t want to touch it, but my mother was over there panicking. It kind of felt like a quick sting. I was kind of alert at the moment. I was calm. And then my mother started panicking, then I’m in a state of panic – what’s going on, what’s going on.”

Gaines was shot in the neck. The bullet went through the right side and out the back under his hairline. One inch in another direction and it would have ripped through his jugular vein, killing the toddler.

Gaines, currently playing in the Republic of Georgia, goes on to note that due to his contract situation — he’s signed through this season with New Jersey — the prospect of a lost season is “real tough” and that he has little interest in going back to free agency.

Sundiata was great in the backup point guard role, albeit for a limited time due to his freak injury. Like him (though perhaps for different reasons), I’d like to see a season, though in a more serious sense I’m also just glad he’s alive.

Today is day 134 of the NBA Lockout.