CHICAGO (CBS) — TaKiya “TK” Howard is a basketball star who was caught in the line of fire. She is a girl who is wise beyond her 18 years.

She has a message for the person who shot her: “I forgive you. I pray for you because I don’t really believe that was your intention to hurt three athletes who have promising lives.”

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TK recalls Monday night when she and fellow basketball players Ty Johnson and Annaliese Griffin were talking about their favorite sport together in Englewood. TK, a De La Salle star guard, was sitting in Griffin’s car. Johnson, a DePaul Prep basketball star and Loyola university recruit, was standing outside the car talking to them. Within seconds, all three would be ducking for cover because of a drive-by shooting.

“We were just talking about basketball, laughing and stuff, and then five minutes later after the last car went past, you heard the first pop,” TK said.

A bullet grazed Johnson in the head. He is recovering. A bullet grazed TK’s ear, then entered her neck, just missing a major artery. The bullet is still there. 

“I think God’s hand was on her that night. Had it been a little bit more to, maybe, where the artery was, I would’ve gotten a different phone call,” said TK’s mother Kimberly Howard.

Suzanne Le Mignot’s Full Interview With TaKiya “TK” Howard

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TK credits her best friend, Griffin, with not only keeping her calm but also saving her life.

“She rushed me to the hospital, like stopping at no stop lights or anything,” TK said.

TK has been accepted to Murray State University in Kentucky on a full scholarship to play Division 1 basketball. She said it was in the hospital when she decided a bullet was not going to stop her from accomplishing her dreams.

“I have a bullet in my neck but I can still move,” she said. “I don’t want this to hinder me with my team.”

“The fight in her continues to be stronger,” her mother said.

TaKiya leaves for Murray State on the May 23.

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She can’t wait to start working out again, so she can do her best on the court. Meantime, Chicago police say no one is in custody.

Suzanne Le Mignot