Last fall Braeden Anderson was traveling with another passenger when he was involved in a deadly four-car crash. Norman Jones was killed in the accident.
Anderson suffered major injuries which nearly cost him his basketball career. On Wednesday he passed a huge milestone on his road to recovery.
Action News first spoke with Braeden Anderson three weeks after he suffered several broken bones in his neck. At the time, he didn't want to admit he was in a lot of pain but described how he couldn't raise a basketball higher than his shoulders. Anderson has made tremendous improvements since then. "From not being able to feed myself, clothe myself, go to the bathroom by myself, to now being fully cleared to playing college basketball again, it's been a long journey," said Anderson.
In September Anderson was a passenger in a Dodge truck when the driver tried to swerve away from a multi-car crash near Friant and Millerton. The impact broke the Fresno State's forward's neck in several places. Doctors told him, he'd probably never play again but Anderson had his own plans and some very big hoop dreams. "When it comes to the healing process you have to be chomping at the bit to do whatever you can possibly do," added Anderson.
From a hospital bed he plotted his comeback and went through intense therapy. Soon, he was walking, then on the bench at practice cheering for teammates like Alex Davis. "He is a great guy on and off the court, to have him cheering even though it wasn't his time yet, his opportunity got taken away from him this year and he was still all for the team," added Davis.
Braeden tapped into determination, practiced hard and seven months after he broke his neck doctors at Stanford have him the okay to finally play ball again with the Bulldogs.
"The surgeons finally kind of just started laughing and said no, he's perfectly fine. His neck is stronger than mine, words can't really describe how I felt when I heard that," said Anderson.