Ex-NBA center riding high after stolen bike found

At 7-foot-6, former NBA center Shawn Bradley needs just about

everything custom-made, from clothes and chairs to countertops and

doorways.

It’s why he was bummed when his custom-build Trek road bicycle,

complete with an 80 centimeter carbon fiber-aluminum frame, was

stolen last Friday.

”There’s no way they could have ridden it away,” Bradley said

Thursday morning. ”It’s kind of baffling. I think it will turn

up.”

He was right.

A random search of a residence by state probation and parole

officials turned up the bike Thursday afternoon in the town of

Murray, where Bradley has a home, police said. Joshua Carter, 34,

was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and

felony theft, Murray police Sgt. Brian Wright said.

Bradley, who has been riding the bicycle since packing on the

pounds after his retirement following 13 NBA seasons, was thrilled

at the news.

Authorities wouldn’t reveal a motive for the theft, but Bradley

speculated that anybody who took it simply was looking for

something they could pawn for quick cash.

They certainly weren’t going to ride it – as it is about 50

percent larger than what a normal-sized person would ride. Trek

never even included a serial number when it built the bike in 2005

because it is so unique.

”I’m guessing he just walked it away,” Wright said of the

suspect, who stands just 6-foot.

Bradley’s home on 3 acres is protected by an electronic gate,

and backs up to Little Cottonwood Creek.

Bradley found it strange that only the bicycle, black with a

”76” painted on the frame to denote Bradley’s height, was taken

Friday morning from a barn next to the gated home. Seven other

bicycles used by his six children and wife weren’t touched, nor

were his boat, tools or even a $200 pair of Oakley sunglasses

stuffed into his bicycle helmet.

”It’s a stolen bike, not the end of the world,” Bradley said

before knowing it had been recovered. ”It’s just kind of a weird

story. It’s not like I can go down to the bike shop and buy a new

bike. It’d be the same if my clothes were stolen.”

Inside his home, countertops and doorways are raised and an

oversized animal-print chair sits behind his large desk. With a

44-inch inseam, even his pants must be custom-made.

Bradley took up cycling because he needed to get healthy again.

He had taken time off following his NBA career to let his body

recover, but also packed on the pounds, ballooning from his playing

weight of 275 pounds to 335.

”I just wasn’t feeling good,” Bradley said.

Bicycling the roads and canyons of Utah was the solution.

He’s shed about 30 pounds of fat after making bicycling part of

a daily routine. He’s logged several thousand miles, including many

”century rides” – rides of 100 miles or more. Bradley also rode

from Logan, Utah, to Jackson Hole, Wyo., last year.

”It’s changed my body (composition) and when I ride the bike in

the morning, I want to eat healthy the rest of the day. It’s a

mental game I play with myself,” he said.

The 39-year-old is president of the board of directors at West

Ridge Academy, a youth residential treatment center in Utah. In

2010, he ran for a seat in the Utah House of Representatives but

lost. He’s contemplating another run for public office.

Now he doesn’t have to worry about finding a replacement

bicycle, valued at between $6,000 and $10,000.

”I’m not a racer, but I love to ride,” he said on a

sun-splashed fall day. ”A day like today would have been

perfect.”