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Former NBA player Shawn Bradley paralyzed in bike accident

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS - MAY 7: Shawn Bradley #44 of the Dallas Mavericks pumps his fist against the Houston Rockets in Game seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 5, 2005 in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks won 116-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

It’s hard to forget Shawn Bradley — all 7'6" of him — if you watched him play for the Dallas Mavericks (or Philadelphia 76ers, or New Jersey Nets) during his eventful 12-year NBA career. Through a lot of ups and downs, he played the game with joy — you could see it in his face.

Bradley announced Wednesday that he suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident a block from home in St. George, Utah, which has left him paralyzed.

Here is the statement, via the Dallas Mavericks:

Shawn Bradley released the first public details today of the accident he suffered on January 20, 2021. Bradley, the 7'6" former NBA player with the Dallas Mavericks, was struck from behind by an automobile while riding his bicycle a mere block from his home in St. George, Utah. The accident caused a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. After undergoing neck fusion surgery, Bradley has spent the last eight weeks hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation.

Bradley, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spent two years performing missionary work in Australia after his freshman year at Brigham Young University. Following his mission, Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the number two pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, but he spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Mavericks. His very strong sense of faith is being tested as he participates in grueling physical therapy and learns how to cope with the challenges of paraplegia. Doctors have advised him that his road to recovery will be both long and arduous, perhaps an even more difficult physical challenge than playing professional basketball.

With his wife Carrie at his side around the clock, and supported by an amazing team of rehabilitation specialists and family, Bradley is in good spirits. He plans to use his accident as a platform to bring greater public awareness to the importance of bicycle safety.

Bradley asked to convey his deep appreciation for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers he has received from family, friends and fans. Their support has energized his recovery and bolstered his confidence that he will manage the long process ahead successfully. He does not plan to issue further public updates, preferring to devote his full concentration on his rehabilitation.

Bradley was the No. 2 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, taken by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played with the Nets as well but spent the final eight years of his career in Dallas. Bradley averaged 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks a game during his career.