On Friday 26 May 2023, Canberra Gunners player, John Mapiou, was involved in a serious car accident which placed him in a critical condition. Over the course of the weekend Basketball ACT and the Canberra Gunners have received positive updates on his condition and we are pleased to confirm his progress has improved. While he has a long way to go in his recovery journey, he is showing good signs of improvement at this early stage.

The Canberra Gunners where informed of John’s condition prior to their Round 11 NBL1 clash in Sydney against Bankstown Bruins. The playing group and coaching staff agreed to proceed with the game knowing John would have wanted them to go out there and play. The Canberra Gunners came away with a big 19-point win (95 – 76).

When describing John, Canberra Gunners Head Coach Peter Herak said, “Anyone who has met John off the court knows he is a polite, respectful young man who was just starting to put everything in his life together and working hard to make his dreams come true. And on the court, he is the ultimate competitor someone who will do anything for his team and teammates.”

“He competes in everything and has a strong will to win. He is a ball of energy and comes in like a tornado to cause havoc on both ends of the court. And lastly everyone knows he can be a goof ball, he’s got a smile and laugh that’s infectious, he finds the smallest of things amusing and that can set off a chain of laughter in the group.  We love John, he is a huge part of our team and program, and we are going to do everything we can to help him now because he needs that support. John has a long road to recovery but all those traits I describe above are the reasons why I know he is going to get there.”

Basketball ACT CEO Nicole Bowles said “Our thoughts and prayer are with John and his family at this time and wish him a speedy recovery. We know the basketball community will be with him every step of the way and know there is a long journey to his full recovery.”

“We will be showing our support for John on-court tonight, when we play Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, and on Saturday – 3 June 2023 against Penrith Panthers, at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, and call on the basketball network to join us in showing their support.”

A fundraising page has been established on the Australian Sporting Foundation, to support John’s recovery needs.  You can find out further details about this at https://asf.org.au/donate/support-john-mapiou

Support – John Mapiou – Australian Sports Foundation (ASF)