This is the second article in a five-part series about figures in the sports world that have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Brian Grant averaged 10.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game over 12 NBA seasons for the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns. The 6’9″ power forward/center played at Xavier University before being drafted with the eighth overall pick in 1994. Grant was known for his defensive prowess and rebounding skills and signed a seven-year $86 million deal with the Heat. After dealing with nagging injuries and diminished playing time, Grant retired in 2006.
Brian Grant was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in Nov. 2008 and went public with his diagnosis in 2009. Grant had done a lot of charity work during his playing career, including acting as a spokesman for Ronald McDonald House Charities and running the Brian Grant Free Summer Basketball Clinics, but he recreated the Brian Grant Foundation after his diagnosis to increase education and awareness of Parkinson’s.
The Brian Grant Foundation holds an annual fundraiser called Shake It Till We Make It in Portland, OR to raise money for those affected by the disease. This year’s fundraiser is a two-day event over the summer, which includes celebrity appearances and a golf tournament.
Grant’s foundation teamed up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center to support research towards a cure and improved therapies for the disease.
The Brian Grant Foundation includes Powering Forward, a web resource designed to help educate people diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Powering Forward includes tips for the newly diagnosed, videos from physicians caregivers and family members, and methods for maintaining quality of life.