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Former Mavericks player Shawn Bradley paralyzed after being struck by vehicle

The former NBA player, who played for Dallas for eight seasons, was struck while riding his bike in Utah in January.
Image: Shawn Bradley, Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Bradley #44 of the Dallas Mavericks plays in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Houston Rockets in Dallas on April 23, 2005.Layne Murdoch / NBAE via Getty Images file

Former Dallas Mavericks center Shawn Bradley is paralyzed after being hit by a vehicle while riding his bike near his Utah home in January, the retired player said Wednesday.

"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," according to statement distributed by his former team.

Bradley, 48, was struck from behind in the Jan. 20 accident, which happened a block from his home in St. George, the statement says.

Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993 and spent time with that team as well as with the then-New Jersey Nets, but he spent most of his career with Dallas. He played there for eight seasons and retired in 2005.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson said that they were saddened by the accident and wished Bradley nothing but the best.

The 76ers and the now-Brooklyn Nets also expressed their support and well wishes for Bradley and his loved ones.

Bradley is in good spirits, with wife Carrie "at his side around the clock, and supported by an amazing team of rehabilitation specialists and family," the statement said.

Bradley said he plans to use the accident to bring greater public awareness to bicycle safety.

The statement released on behalf of Bradley does not mention details of the crash. A public information officer for St. George police said that it sent its report to the city attorney's office for a review of charges.

There were no independent witnesses, and the driver of the minivan has an account, but the cyclist couldn't remember what happened, Officer Tiffany Atkin said in an email.

Bradley is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the statement says. He was a missionary for two years before his NBA career.

"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 statement says. "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."

"Bradley asked to convey his deep appreciation for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers he has received from family, friends and fans," the statement says. "Their support has energized his recovery and bolstered his confidence that he will manage the long process ahead successfully."

Cuban said in a statement that "Shawn has always been incredibly determined and shown a fighting spirit."