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Former Hawk Star In Critical Condition After Crash


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JONESBORO, Ga. (AP)

Former NBA All-Star guard Daron ''Mookie'' Blaylock was on life support at a hospital Friday after his SUV crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a van in suburban Atlanta, police said.

Blaylock was driving in Jonesboro Friday when he crashed and was airlifted to the Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition, said Clayton County police spokesman Clarence Cox.

Cox says a man and woman riding in the van were also taken to the medical center. Their names and conditions were not immediately available.

The 46-year-old Blaylock was a first-round draft pick by the New Jersey Nets out of Oklahoma in 1989.

He played for the Atlanta Hawks between 1992 and 1999, appeared in the 1994 NBA All-Star game and had his best season in 1996-97, averaging 17.4 points and 5.9 assists.

In 13 NBA seasons with New Jersey, Atlanta and Golden State, he averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 assists.

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Ex-NBA guard Mookie Blaylock critically injured in car crash

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ATLANTA — Former Atlanta Hawks guard Mookie Blaylock was in critical condition Friday evening following a head-on car crash south of the city that left one woman dead.

Blaylock was on life support earlier, but Jonesboro police Chief Franklin Allen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his condition improved and he was taken off life support and in “guarded but stable condition.” Multiple outlets have reported that the 46-year-old's condition has improved.

At about 1 p.m. ET, Blaylock was driving northbound on Tara Boulevard in his Cadillac Escalade when he crossed the median. Blaylock struck a vehicle carrying two people. All three people were transported to Atlanta Medical Center, where Monica Murphy, 40, died Friday evening. The other passenger's injuries are not serious, police said.

Blaylock has been under treatment for seizures, a family member told the AJC; it's unclear if he suffered one at the time of the accident. Blaylock had an outstanding warrant on DUI and drug charges, Allen said, though investigators did not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Blaylock, who is from Texas and played his college ball at Oklahoma, played seven of his 13 NBA seasons in Atlanta, from 1992-99. He was a two-time first-team pick to the All-Defensive Team and in 1994 he played in the All-Star Game. In 1996-97, his 221 3-pointers made ranked second in the league. That season and the following one, Blaylock led the league in steals. He retired with career averages of 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.3 steals.

His name struck such a pop culture chord that members of Pearl Jam originally named their band Mookie Blaylock, and they titled their debut album “Ten” after his jersey number.

The band was among those sending out support on Twitter.

Blaylock was a member of several playoff teams in Atlanta with teammates such as Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Smith and Jon Barry. He was traded in 1999, a move that allowed the Hawks to draft Jason Terry with the 10th overall pick.

“It was very shocking,” Blaylock told the AJC at the time, “especially when you’re with a team that long and you think you’re one of the guys that’s going to be around and you’re going to end your career there. But that’s part of the business. I know that’s how it goes.”Among others reacting to Friday's news on Twitter was former longtime Hawks public relations official Arthur Triche, who posted, “Difficult emotions right now. Thinking of the families...”

Blaylock's twin sons, Daron and Zack, are safeties on the University of Kentucky football team.

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