ATLANTA (AP) — Former NBA All-Star guard Daron “Mookie” Blaylock was upgraded to serious condition at an Atlanta hospital Saturday, a day after his SUV crashed head-on into a van and killed a woman.
Atlanta Medical Center spokeswoman Nicole Gustin confirmed that the 46-year-old Blaylock’s condition had improved since he was airlifted to the hospital. Police said the former Atlanta Hawks player was initially placed on life support and was in critical condition late Friday even after he was taken off of it.
Blaylock was driving in neighboring Jonesboro Friday afternoon when he crashed, said Clayton County police spokesman Clarence Cox. Police said his SUV crossed the center line and slammed into an oncoming van.
A passenger in the van, 43-year-old Monica Murphy, died Friday night, Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen said. Her husband, 41-year-old Frankie Murphy, suffered a broken ankle.
Allen told WSB-TV in Atlanta that Blaylock has had “a history of seizures,” and police were trying to find out if a seizure may have led to the accident. The police chief did not return phone calls Saturday from The Associated Press.
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.
Blaylock earned a footnote in rock ‘n’ roll history in the early 1990s when the band Pearl Jam, before taking that name, for a short period called itself Mookie Blaylock. The band titled its 1991 debut album “Ten,” which was Blaylock’s jersey number.
A message posted on Pearl Jam’s official Twitter feed Friday said: “Sending good thoughts to Mookie.”