American basketball player attacked in Poland, left with injured eye socket

Polish officials and media are reporting that an American basketball player with a professional Polish women's club has been badly beaten, sustaining a head injury

Via AP news wire
Sunday 22 October 2023 21:38 BST
Poland US Player Attacked Basketball
Poland US Player Attacked Basketball (The Associated Press)

An American basketball player with a professional Polish women's club was beaten and left with a head injury midweek with the attacker later detained, according to officials and reports in Polish media on Sunday.

Mikayla Cowling, who plays for VBW Arka Gdynia, was attacked late Wednesday in a music club in Gdansk, a city in northern Poland, according to the RMF FM broadcaster, which also quoted the club saying the “brutal beating” left her with a fractured eye socket, among other injuries.

Gdansk is a neighboring city to Gdynia on the Baltic coast.

“I am outraged that such a shameful situation has occurred. Violence and aggression are unacceptable and must be opposed,” Gdynia Mayor Wojciech Szczurek said Sunday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Fortunately, the police quickly caught the attacker. We wish the player good health!”

The attack happened after a EuroCup women’s match where the Gdynia team defeated rivals from Switzerland, BCF Elfic Fribourg, 77-47. Cowling, who played her college basketball at Cal, scored 7 points.

The president of the Gdynia club, Boguslaw Witkowski, said in an interview with the Polish state news agency PAP that the player was attacked near the women's restroom by a security guard.

Cowling, 27, was hit several times on the head, and when she fell, she was also kicked. The most serious injury was to her face and the athlete has a fractured orbital bone, he said. He added that she is at home under observation and will have additional tests next week.

PAP also quoted a police spokesperson who said the attacker, a 48-year-old man, was arrested on Friday.


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