Amer­i­can bas­ket­ball player un­will­ing to play game in France

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MADRID: Amer­i­can bas­ket­ball player Shawn James did not travel with his Span­ish club to play a game in France be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns fol­low­ing the at­tacks in Paris. Club Do­min­ion Bil­bao Bas­ket said Mon­day James and his fam­ily were wor­ried about his safety and the cen­ter de­cided not to make the trip for Tues­day’s game in Nan­terre, west of Paris. The 32-year-old James was one of the Duquesne play­ers tar­geted in the 2006 shoot­ings at the univer­sity’s cam­pus.Bil­bao coach Sito Alonso said the club did not want to force the player to travel to Paris along with the rest of his team­mates.

“It was his own de­ci­sion and the club re­spects it,” Alonso said. “Ev­ery­one is en­ti­tled to make their own de­ci­sion when it comes to se­cu­rity. ... He is here with his fam­ily and they de­cided that he shouldn’t travel. We re­spect that de­ci­sion.”

Club of­fi­cials said they tried to post­pone the game be­cause of safety con­cerns but their re­quest was de­nied by Eurocup of­fi­cials.

They also de­manded in­creased se­cu­rity for the team while in France, in­clud­ing a po­lice es­cort, but French of­fi­cials were yet to con­firm whether their de­mands would be ac­cepted.

“I don’t think we should have trav­eled,” Alonso said. “We tried to post­pone the game for at least a day to see how the sit­u­a­tion un­folded.”The at­tacks in Paris killed 129 peo­ple and in­jured other 350 on Fri­day. One of the venues tar­geted was the Stade de France sta­dium, which was host­ing a soc­cer friendly be­tween France and Ger­many.

James was one of the five Duquesne bas­ket­ball play­ers shot at by a man who was ap­par­ently jeal­ous that his girl­friend was talk­ing to the play­ers af­ter an event on cam­pus al­most 10 years ago. James was shot in the foot but the in­jury was not se­ri­ous. One of the play­ers was hit in the head and was hos­pi­tal­ized in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, need­ing sev­eral surg­eries be­fore re­cov­er­ing along with his team­mates.James, who went un­drafted in 2008, also played in North­east­ern Univer­sity be­fore mov­ing to Europe. He also pre­vi­ously played for clubs in Is­rael and Italy. — AP

LON­DON: Aus­tralia’s head coach Michael Cheika, right, lis­tens to his player Drew Mitchell an­swer a ques­tion dur­ing press con­fer­ence for the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham sta­dium in Lon­don. Aus­tralia will play New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup fi­nal at Twickenham, Satur­day. — AP

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