NBA Center Shawn Bradley Adjusts to a New Life


Shawn Bradley
played center in the NBA from 1993 to 2005. He is 7' 6" tall, making him one of the tallest NBA players in history. After retiring from basketball, Bradley became a coach and administrator at a school for at-risk youth in Utah. Then in January of 2021, he was struck by a car while riding a bicycle. Bradley suffered spinal injuries and was left a quadriplegic.

His life since then has been a struggle to return to any kind of normalcy. It is a paradigm shift for anyone to adjust to life in a wheelchair with professional aides for everyday activities, but for Bradley there are a few extra challenges. His very size makes everything more difficult. At 300 pounds, he must have a special crane to lift him from a bed to a wheelchair. His custom-built, 500-pound wheelchair causes his oversized van to list to the side when its lift is in use. During Bradley's initial hospitalization, the staff rigged up a padded table for his feet because he was too tall for the biggest bed they had.

There are also extra psychological challenges. Bradley's entire identity was centered around his height and his athletic ability. He went from looking down on everyone to looking up at anyone. His three-story home has a pool and gym he can't use and custom eight-foot tall doors he no longer needs. Read Bradley's story at Sports Illustrated. -via Damn Interesting


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