Brian Shaw Raised His Niece After His Sister and Parents Died in a Car Crash

One morning early in his playing career, Brian Shaw awoke to the ring of a phone. “It was the coroner’s office,” said Shaw in the ESPN video profile below. “And they said that my mother, father and sister had all been killed in a car accident.”

Just like that, Shaw lost his whole family and was thrust into the role of guardian to his sister’s infant daughter. The grief he suffered through and the responsibility of raising his niece forced him to grow up quickly. It molded his character to a degree that, years later when he achieved his life-long dream of winning an NBA title with the Lakers, there was a grim reminder of reality that remained even amid the teamwide jubilation.

“I remember looking around the locker room,” said Shaw, “and I saw Shaq’s parents in the locker room spraying champagne. Kobe’s parents. Fisher’s. Rick Fox’s. Robert Horry’s. And I was elated ’cause we won the championship, but then there was a part of me that set in that said my parents deserve to be here to be a part of this, too.”

Brian Shaw has not yet been officially named the new lead assistant coach for the Pacers and Frank Vogel. But he has the job. And more than any assessments of his coaching abilities from Phil Jackson or Kobe Bryant, his life story is what Pacers fans should know about a man who has won three rings as a player and two more as an apprentice to the most accomplished coach in NBA history. (video via Pacers Digest)


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