10/08/2015 14:27 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

At NYC trial, Hawks' head coach says NBA's Thabo Sefolosha's character 'of the highest order'

NEW YORK — An NBA head coach has testified that the character of a professional basketball player on trial after a confrontation with New York City police is "of the highest order."

The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Budenholzer took the stand Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court in the trial of Thabo Sefolosha (tah-BOH' sehf-ah-LOH'-shuh)

Budenholzer said the 31-year-old Swiss guard-forward was highly intelligent and hardworking.

Sefolosha has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanour obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges.

The case stems from an April struggle outside a trendy nightclub following the stabbing of another NBA player.

Prosecutors have said Sefolosha disobeyed orders to clear the area and lunged threateningly at an officer.

But Sefolosha's lawyer has argued his client complied with the orders and was singled out by a pugnacious officer.

The Associated Press