Bulldog Insider feature: Aunjona James’ journey

Bulldog Sports

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – “It’s been a long time coming, and my teammates know what I’ve had to go through to get to this point.

“Everybody around me was waiting for that moment.”

That moment, for Aunjona James, was her first points as a Fresno State Bulldog on Thursday night at the Save Mart Center against Boise State.

“The excitement was everything,” she smiled. “Like, it’s just been a long time coming, it was sort of surreal. But it was everything to me.”

In October of last year, James suffered a season-ending injury. She tore her left ACL, as well as her medial and lateral meniscus. It took her 14 months to recover!

This past week, she scored the first points of her Fresno State career. They came on a layup late in the fourth quarter, and there was some “sauce” to it.

“Growing up, I played a lot against boys,” said James. “I have an older brother, so I would always play with him and his friends, and they would always try to embarrass me. So I would always kinda take what they did to me, and I applied it to when I started playing.”

This was not Aunjona James’ first season-ending injury. As a sophomore at San Joaquin Memorial High School, she tore her right ACL.

“I’m thinking, ‘oh, this process should be a lot easier since I’ve been through it and I know what to expect,” she said. “But it was ten times harder than the first time. The mental part is the hardest aspect about it, it challenges you to basically reidentify yourself.”

As she continues to go through the ups and downs on her journey to a full recovery, Aunjona James is determined to come back stronger.

“I definitely had doubts at times, but to get that first bucket, it kinda boosted my confidence more,” she said. “And now, from here on out, I know that I’m gonna put on a show.

“So stay tuned.”

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