Brian Grant Pens Heartfelt Letter

The former Kings first round pick details his battle with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease via The Players’ Tribune.
by Dan Lovi

Brian Grant, the Kings No. 8 overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft, retired from the league in 2006 after a successful 12-year career. The fierce rebounder and low post bruiser who was known to battle in the paint has had to face the toughest battle of his life for nearly a decade.

In a letter written by Grant for The Players’ Tribune, the former Kings forward shared his story of being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease, dealing with his illness and using the Brian Grant Foundation to help raise awareness for the disease.

No. 33 talks about the massive support he’s received from the NBA community, as well as the initial phone call he received from actor Michael J. Fox, who has suffered from Parkinson’s disease since 1991.

“We talked about next steps, and whether I’d join the fight against the disease,” Grant writes. ‘If you don’t want to, that’s OK,’ Fox said. ‘But once you step into that arena, you’re in it. There’s no stepping in and stepping out.’ “I stepped in.”

Grant also reminisced about the times he faced Karl Malone and how the Hall-of-Famer, who wasn’t Grant’s biggest fan during their playing days, called him to help when he found out about his diagnosis.

Malone and Grant went on a charitable fishing trip together that raised $107,000 for the Brain Grant Foundation.

The 44-year-old father of seven ends the letter by saying that he has to be able to “open up and allow people to help,” even when his ego won’t let him ask for help.

“If my kids, my family, my friends reach out, I have to be able to let them in,” he concludes.

You can learn more about the Brian Grant Foundation by visiting their website.

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