Brian Grant was an NBA idol, known for tenacious rebounding and a fearless attitude on the court. During his 12‐year career, he played for five teams and became a strong contributor to his surrounding communities. Today, Brian continues to inspire as a speaker, philanthropist, and a patient who insists on thriving with Parkinson’s disease. His mission is to help people become their best, even when it seems impossible.
Brian started his career at Xavier University where he was Player of the Year twice for the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. He was drafted in the first round, eighth overall, in the 1994 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. His career continued with the Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns. During this time, Brian also served underprivileged youth and sick families in his community. His contributions earned him the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
In 2006, Brian retired from professional basketball. Only two years later, he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease at age 36. It was hard for him to believe that his athletic body couldn’t push through the pain or get better with time. He was scared and humbled, yet fiercely determined to be as healthy as possible. This motivation launched the Brian Grant Foundation, for those with Parkinson’s who want to lead active and fulfilling lives.
Since then, Brian has become a sought after keynote speaker. Companies and organizations nationwide are drawn to his authenticity and captivated by his stories that unite us as people, regardless of age or background. Brian is also on the Trail Blazers Alumni Ambassador Corp and he loves to fish, surf, and enjoy the mountains in Oregon.
Brian learned from his coaches that you can’t always control the ball, but you can control your effort. As a father of eight, he wants to show his kids that quality of life takes sweat and determination, but the results are always worth it.
Check out this video from the Miami Heat about Brian’s career and his work as a Parkinson’s advocate.