DENVER -- Julius Hodge of the Denver Nuggets was shot and wounded early Saturday while driving on a highway, authorities said.
The team said he is in fair condition and is expected to make a full recovery. The Adams County Sheriff's Department said Hodge was struck in his lower body.
"The preliminary reports are that he's going to be fine. He should be able to play again in two to three weeks," Nuggets coach George Karl said.
Hodge was on Interstate 76 in north Denver at about 2 a.m. when another vehicle pulled alongside and someone inside fired several shots, some of which hit Hodge, Adams County Sheriff's Sgt. Louis Dixon said. He declined to say how many shots were fired.
A passenger in Hodge's vehicle flagged down another motorist, who took Hodge and the passenger to a hospital.
Dixon said authorities do not know the name of the motorist who stopped. He said investigators hope that motorist and any witnesses would come forward.
Dixon said Hodge's passenger has been interviewed and is not a suspect. He declined to release the passenger's name and would not say what kind of vehicle Hodge was driving.
The mood was quiet at a Nuggets shoot-around before Saturday night's game against Golden State in Denver.
"There was a bit of trauma hitting us this morning. We were really solemn, crying," Karl said. "Right now we are just happy that everything is OK."
Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said the team had little information on the shooting.
"First and foremost, our primary concern is Julius' health," he said in a statement.
The 22-year-old Hodge was the Nuggets' first-round draft pick in 2005 out of North Carolina State. Hodge, 6-foot-7, was recalled from the NBA Developmental League last month to replace guard Earl Boykins after Boykins broke his hand.
He has appeared in 14 games for the Nuggets this season, averaging 0.9 point and 0.5 rebounds in 2.4 minutes.
Interestingly, last summer my wife and I stayed with her cousin who lives outside of Boulder. He commented that it had become very common for drivers to carry guns in their cars and that there had been several recent shootings on the highways near where he lived.
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