American basketball player unwilling to play game in France
MADRID (AP) 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.
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