Tuesday , May , 19 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Brian Grant Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

With a huge black-and-white painting of Bob Marley peering over one shoulder and a half-dozen framed NBA jerseys visible over the other, Brian Grant took a deep breath, ignored his left hand shaking as if it were trying to put out a match, and let go of the secret that had tormented him for the last four months.

"I have young onset Parkinson’s," he said.

That’s Parkinson’s, as in the disease that disrupts the brain’s coordination and control of muscle movement and motor skills. A progressive disease for which the cause and the cure are unknown. A disease so rare for someone like Grant, 37, to contract that his case is identified as "young onset."

It is a disease rarer still for a man so adept at coordinating and controlling every ounce and inch of his 6-foot-9, 254-pound frame that he put together a 12-year NBA career by battling Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and dozens of other bigger, stronger opponents.