You’ve heard of Petteri Koponen if you’ve read Mavs Moneyball for a while. We wrote about him when the Mavericks traded for his rights in 2011, followed up on him in 2012, and wrote about him extensively again last year when it sounded like he was planning to come over and attempt to make it in the NBA. He didn’t, staying in Europe while the Mavericks retain his draft rights.
On Monday, Koponen was hospitalized after being involved in a car accident and suffering “cranioencephalic trauma,” or cranial trauma. Here’s the official statement from FC Barcelona, the team which Koponen recently signed with.
FC Barcelona Lassa announced on Monday morning that newly arrived guard Petteri Koponen had been involved in a traffic accident in the city on Sunday and is hospitalized, under observation, for cranioencephalic trauma. Koponen, 28, arrived to Barcelona this summer from Khimki Moscow Region, where he had spent the previous four seasons. Before that he spent four seasons each at Tapiolan Honka, in his native Finland, and at Virtus Bologna in Italy. He was a EuroCup champion and All-EuroCup First Team selection in 2015 with Khimki. As of Monday, he was under observation at Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, the club said in its announcement, which noted that that statement had been released with Koponen's consent.
Right now, it doesn’t matter whether Koponen does or doesn’t ever have a chance in the NBA. What matters is sending him your best wishes and prayers, and hoping he comes out of this OK. This appears to be a serious situation, and we are obviously hoping the best for the 28-year-old.
According to Keskisuomalainen, a daily Finnish newspaper, Koponen was in a cab transporting players when it was struck by a suspected drunk driver. He was reportedly moved out of intensive care yesterday, and his condition is improving, but details are still vague. Two other people were injured in the traffic collision, including one other suffering “serious injuries.”
Get well soon, Petteri. Our thoughts are with him and those close to him.