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March 17, 2021

Former Sixer Shawn Bradley was paralyzed in Utah bicycle crash

The 48-year-old underwent neck fusion surgery after he was struck by a car

Former Philadelphia 76ers center Shawn Bradley is recovering from a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed earlier this year when his bicycle was struck from behind by a car in Utah. 

Bradley, who spent 12 years in the NBA, was injured near his home in St. George on Jan. 20. He spent eight weeks in the hospital after undergoing neck fusion surgery. He's been recovering and going through rehabilitation.

The Dallas Mavericks, where Bradley spent the bulk of his career, confirmed the severity of the injury on Wednesday and provided an update on his condition: 

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.

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

The Sixers wished Bradley and his family well as they continue on his path of recovery. 

Towering at 7'6", Bradley was seen as a potential force when the Sixers drafted him with the 2nd overall pick in 1993. 

The Brigham Young University star struggled during his two seasons in Philadelphia, hampered by injuries, poor shooting and foul trouble. He was traded to the former New Jersey Nets early in the 1995-96 season in exchange for Derrick Coleman. 

Bradley later joined the Mavericks during the 1996-97 season as part of a nine-player trade. He had his best years in Dallas, becoming a formidable shot blocker and making several playoff appearances under coach Don Nelson. He retired after the 2004-05 season. 

Sometimes called "The Stormin' Mormon," Bradley's been guided by his faith as he recovers and learns to cope with the challenges of paraplegia, the Mavericks said Wednesday. 

"In his eight-plus seasons in Dallas, Shawn demonstrated all of the qualities you want in a person representing your organization," Nelson said. "He has always exhibited unwavering grit and determination and we are thinking of him at this difficult time. He is a Maverick for life.”