Donna and AJ

Mary Persons’ junior Amari “A.J” Jefferson took the court for the Bulldog basketball team on Friday for the first time since he received a new kidney from Donna Wilson, right, of Culloden in August. Jefferson was put on a kidney tranplant list after his kidney disease worsened forcing him onto dialysis. Many locals got tested to see if they could donate one of their kidneys and Wilson’s came back as the best match. Doctors cleared Jefferson to play last week and he got a loud ovation when he entered the home contest against West Laurens on Friday. Wilson said she was as nervous as he was. “The most rewarding part of donating a kidney for A.J. was to see him play basketball on the court,” said Wilson. “I asked him Friday before he went down to get ready for the game if he was going to be able to play. He smiled and said I sure hope so. I had just as many butterflies in my stomach as he did and I wasn’t even playing.” The Bulldogs won 67-59, improving to 5-1 on the year. See a full preview of the MP basketball season in the B section inside. (Photo/Will Davis)