Photo: Glenn James / National Basketball Association / Getty

Former Dallas Maverick Shawn Bradley has announced that he was struck from behind by an automobile while riding his bicycle near his home in St. George, Utah on Jan. 20 and suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.

Bradley underwent neck fusion surgery and has spent the last eight weeks hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation.

“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,” according to the statement. “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.”

“We are saddened to hear of Shawn’s accident,” said Mark Cuban. “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.”

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Shawn’s injury and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family,” said Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson. “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.”

The 7-foot-6 big man was drafted No. 2 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993 and spent nine of his 12-year NBA career with the Mavericks.

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