Former BYU star Shawn Bradley paralyzed after bicycle accident

Sports

7-foot-6 center played 12 seasons in NBA

OAKLAND – 1996: Shawn Bradley #44 of the Dallas Mavericks drives against the Golden State Warriors circa 1996 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California. 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 1996 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Former BYU and NBA center Shawn Bradley suffered a severe spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed in the aftermath of a Jan. 20, 2021 accident.

Bradley, 48, played 12 seasons in the NBA, eight with with the Dallas Mavericks. He retired in 2005.

The team released a statement Wednesday afternoon on behalf of their former player detailing that accident in which the 7-foot-6 Bradley was struck from behind by a car while riding his bicycle near his home in St. George. Bradley underwent neck fusion surgery and has since spent the last eight weeks going through rehabilitation from the accident.

“We are saddened to hear of Shawn’s accident,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement. “Shawn has always been incredibly determined and shown a fighting spirit. We wish him nothing but the best in his recovery. He will always be a part of our Mavs family.”

Dallas general manager Donnie Nelson also spoke of the accident:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Shawn’s injury and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family,” Nelson said. “In his eight-plus seasons in Dallas, Shawn demonstrated all of the qualities you want in a person representing your organization. He has always exhibited unwavering grit and determination and we are thinking of him at this difficult time. He is a Maverick for life.”

Bradley, a former Emery High School star, was drafted with the second pick overall by the Sixers in 1993, after playing one season at BYU and then completing missionary work in Australia for two years. He was named to the All-Rookie team in his first year in the league, while averaging 10 points, six boards and three blocks a game. 

Since retiring in 2005, Bradley became an educator, serving as a counselor at a private school for at-risk youth in West Jordan, Utah.

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