PLANKINTON, S.D. (AP) — A Plankinton teenager shot and wounded by a classmate is back on the basketball court, less than half a year after the incident.

Nick Lawson was shot in the chest by his friend Logan Evans on June 22. Authorities say Evans didn't think the gun was loaded when he pointed it at Lawson and pulled the trigger as a joke.

Lawson underwent eight surgeries and spent three weeks recovering in a Sioux Falls hospital. The Daily Republic reports doctors ruled out the prospect of Lawson playing football this fall, so he pushed himself to be ready for the winter basketball season.

He's now a starter on the team, and coach Eric Denning says Lawson is an inspiration.

Evans was sentenced in November to serve about five months in jail.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.