Former Dallas Mavericks center Shawn Bradley is paralyzed after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle near his Utah home earlier this year.
According to a statement released by the team Wednesday afternoon, Bradley was riding his bicycle on Jan. 20 and was only about a block from his home in St. George, Utah when he was hit from behind by a motorist.
"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," the team said in a statement.
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Bradley, 48, is a 7 foot 6 inch German-American who spent 13 years in the NBA including his last eight with the Mavericks before he retired in 2005.
"We are saddened to hear of Shawn's accident. 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," said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in a statement.
The team said Bradley is in good spirits and is supported in his recovery by his wife Carrie, his family and a team of rehab specialists.
"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," the team said Wednesday. "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."
The Mavericks said Bradley wanted to share thanks and 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," the team said.
Bradley does not plan to issue further public updates, preferring to devote his full concentration on his rehabilitation.
Though he was born in Germany, he was raised in Utah and, according to the Mavericks, is a "devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and spent two years performing missionary work in Australia following his freshman year at Brigham Young University.
Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the number two pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He spent two years with Philly before heading to New Jersey to play for the Nets from 1995-1997. He was traded to Dallas in 1998 and spent his final eight seasons with the Mavericks.
Bradley played in nearly 600 games for the Mavericks, starting 274 of them, in his career where he averaged six rebounds per game including four defensive rebounds per game.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of Shawn's injury and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. 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," said Donnie Nelson, Dallas Mavericks general manager.