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

Oct 22, 2023, 9:16 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An American basketball player at 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.

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