Swiss NBA star charged in US nightclub fracas

New York police arrested Swiss pro basketball player Thabo Sefolosha following a fracas outside a Manhattan nightclub where another player was stabbed early on Wednesday, according to American media reports.

Swiss NBA star charged in US nightclub fracas
Sefolosha (right) in action for the Atlanta Hawks. Photo: Erik Drost

Police charged Sefolosha, 30, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA, and fellow player Pero Antic, a 32-year-old Macedonian, with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing “governmental administration”, the New York Times reported.

The pair refused to move when officers tried to set up a crime scene outside the 1OAK club after Chris Copeland, 31, a player with the Indiana Pacers basketball team, was stabbed in the abdomen by a knife-wielding man, the New York Daily News reported online, citing police sources.

The man also allegedly slashed Copeland’s woman friend (not his wife as was initially reported) and another woman outside the club in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan, according to reports.

Copeland was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

His alleged attacker was arrested by police and faces charges.

Sefolosha said nothing hours later after leaving a New York police department station where he was detained for questioning, the Daily News said.

A Reuters news photo showed him being escorted from the tenth precinct station with hands behind his back, apparently cuffed. 

A police report stated that it took four police officers to put handcuffs on Sefolosha.

The incident marked the first time the native of Vevey in the canton of Vaud hit the news for anything other than his court-side exploits.

Born to a Swiss mother and a South African father, the 201-centimetre-tall athlete is the best known of four players from Switzerland currently playing basketball in the American big leagues.

He launched his career in Vevey with the Riviera Basket pro team before playing in France and Italy.

Sefolosha was picked in the 2006 NBA draft debuting with the Chicago Bulls before playing with the Oklahama City Thunder and for a year (2011-12) with the Turkish team Feberbahçe Ülker of the Euroleague.

He joined the Atlanta Hawks last year.

The Hawks were set to play the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night but Sefolosha did not play.

CBS Sports reported that Sefolosha is also dealing with an ankle injury.




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NBA: Swiss star Thabo Sefolosha banned for drug violations

Utah Jazz's Swiss star Thabo Sefolosha and Dallas Mavericks player Nerlens Noel have been suspended for five games each for violating the NBA's anti-drug program, the league said on Tuesday.

NBA: Swiss star Thabo Sefolosha banned for drug violations
Thabo Sefolosha during a practice session in August 2017. Photo: AFP

A brief statement from the league said Noel's suspension would begin immediately, starting with Tuesday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sefolosha's ban will begin with the next NBA regular season game for which he is fit and eligible to play.

No further information was available.

Sefolosha has not played for the Jazz since suffering a season-ending knee injury in January.

The 33-year-old small forward later issued an apology for the incident which led to his ban.

“I would first like to apologize to the Utah Jazz organization, specifically to our great owners, management, coaching staff & my teammates,” Sefolosha wrote on Twitter.

“I also would like to apologize to the NBA and to the fans, who have loyally supported me for the last 12 years. I've made errors in judgment, for which I take full responsibility.

“I will continue to work extremely hard, all summer long, to recover quickly from this injury, and come back stronger and better next season.”

Utah are battling to lock down a playoff spot in the Western Conference and are currently sixth in the standings.