Originally created 04/09/06

Denver rookie Hodge is shot



DENVER - Denver Nuggets rookie guard Julius Hodge is expected to make a full recovery after being shot early Saturday while driving on a highway.

Sheriff's deputies said the 22-year-old player was struck in his lower body. The team said he was in fair condition.

Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said Hodge had visited a musician friend who worked at the club, but the motive for the shooting wasn't known and no suspects were in custody.

"The preliminary reports are that he's going to be fine. He should be able to play again in two to three weeks," Karl said.

Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said Hodge was in good spirits when the two talked.

"He's obviously a little shaken up, but he's doing fine," Vandeweghe 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, Adams County Sheriff's Sgt. Louis Dixon said. A passenger in Hodge's vehicle flagged down another motorist, who took them to the hospital.

"Apparently Julius did nothing to provoke this at all," Vandeweghe said.

The mood was somber at a Nuggets shootaround 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."

Forward Reggie Evans said the players learned of the shooting when they arrived at the Pepsi Center for the team shootaround.

"I'm shocked, really shocked," Evans said. "It's crazy, really crazy."