Stephanie Wheeler car accident in 1987 at age 6 also killed her mother. The accident made Stephanie Wheeler become paralyzed and got her introduced into wheelchair basketball.
What happened was Wheeler wanted to remain active despite her paralysis. As a child, she was an active participant in T-ball and gymnastics.
At age 12, she joined her local adaptive sports club that only offered one sport: wheelchair basketball.
Several years later, she attended a sports camp at the University of Illinois, where she was able to compete in wheelchair basketball on a larger scale than her hometown of 1000 people in Norlina, North Carolina.
Stephanie Wheeler car accident:
Spending time at the University exposed her to what she could achieve if she worked hard and received good grades. As a result, she applied and eventually became a student athlete at the University of Illinois.
During her time as a student athlete, Stephanie Wheeler won three national championships in wheelchair basketball. In 2004, she graduated with a degree in kinesiology.
After undergraduate school, she relocated to the University of Alabama, where she received her master’s degree in adaptive sport and pedagogy. While she was a student there, she helped grow their new wheelchair basketball program.
In 2010, when Stephanie retired as a player, she wanted to stay involved in the sport and, fortunately, the head coaching job at her alma mater opened up at the right time.
Today, Stephanie Wheeler is head coach for Team USA’s Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team and the University of Illinois Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
Throughout her adolescence, Stephanie Wheeler dated men, but in 2008, she began dating women. Shortly after, she came out as gay to her teammates.