Team Indiana enjoyed the experience of a lifetime during the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Competing on the national stage in June in Orlando, Fla., the 100 athletes, Unified partners, coaches and support staff from all across the state earned a combined 43 medals.

The men’s basketball team was among those that brought home gold. Led by John Wheeler as one of the top scorers, the squad looked impressive against the best Special Olympics basketball teams in the U.S.

“I will forever be grateful that I got to represent my community, my state and Special Olympics,” said John. “I will always remember that experience.”

At 6-foot-7, John towers over most other players on the court, yet his demeanor is unassuming. He prefers to let his actions speak for him. But through his humility, John earned the attention of the Indiana Pacers when he was invited to attend the team’s annual media day and meet some of his favorite players.

“John Wheeler is as incredible a person as he is a basketball player,” said his coach, Hal Gambrel. “The positive qualities that he brings to basketball are the same that make him successful in life — hard work, always doing his best, a willingness to learn and caring about others.”

In recent news, John Wheeler wrote his second book in the series “A Magical Season.” John hopes that this book inspires future athletes, especially those who competed at the USA Games, and if you work hard and set your mind to it you can accomplish anything! You can read and purchase his book here »

Also, John Wheeler was featured on the podcast “Who Gets What” with Morton Marcus and John Guy. Wheeler discussed how he got involved with the movement, his books, including winning championships and playing basketball with his Special Olympics Indiana team from Morristown, and the challenges he has overcome to get where he is today. You can listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or by clicking on this link