Paul Schulte

By Emily Kisiel


  • Paul is one of the co-captains for the American Wheelchair basketball team.
  • He plays point gaurd
  • He was skeptical of the paralympics at first, but quickly grew found of wheelchair basketball
  • •NWBA Intercollegiate Men's Division National Champion, MVP, Co-Sportsmanship - 2002
    •NWBA Junior Division National Champion – 1995 & 1997
    •1997 - NWBA Junior Division MVP
    •World Gold Cup Championships - Gold Medalist - 2002 & 1998
  • He started as the youngest player on the USA Men's Olympic Team at 19 years old
  • He lead his team to win the bronze medal in the Sydney and the London games
  • He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Texas.
  • Today he works as an engineer when not traveling the world with his team, and has his own line of Paul Schulte wheelchairs.
  • He is married and has one son named Brady


Paul began using a wheelchair at age 10 when he was injured in severe car crash. He did not let this tragedy stand in the way of his dreams. He started using a wheelchair to play basketball at age 14 and has done great things ever since. Paul is passionate about his line of wheelchairs as much as he is about basketball. He went into engineering to make wheelchairs for basketball players who shared the same "disadvantages" as him.

Sports as a Subculture

Sydney 2000 - Beijing 2008 - London 2012

  • The most recent time Paul appeared at the podium with the Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team
  • Lead his team to win the bronze medal
  • Defended their spot at third place from the Beijing games
  • Schulte scored an average of 33 points a game during the summer games in 2012
  • In the Sydney games, Paul lead his team to earning the bronze


Paul grew comfortable with being in a wheelchair more quickly than most. Since his accident occurred at a young age, he had an easier time copping. When he found out about wheelchair basketball, he realized he was able to do a lot more things like children his age. At the age of 14 when he began playing wheelchair basketball, he began to fit into society much easier. Being in the Olympics when he was 19 allowed him to look at his "disadvantage" as an advantage. He realized that his "disadvantage was not a disadvantage at all, and without it he may not have been in the Olympics at all. People looked up to him like they didn't before, and he fit right in with society.
MEDAL QUEST | Meet Paul Schulte | "And we shoot 3-pointers, too!" | PBS

Social Interaction Competition

Paul explains in the video above that wheelchair basketball is extremely similar to regular basketball. It is 5 on 5, and they even shoot 3 pointers. The only difference between wheelchair basketball and regular basketball is the fact that one of them uses a wheelchair. Socially, the members of the men's wheelchair basketball team do not get as much press as the able body men's basketball team, even though it is more obviously deserved.

Symbolic Theory

You can tell if someone is a paralympian not by their body parts, but by the true love they have for the game. Members of the Olympic wheelchair basketball team have more pride and self respect than members of the regular men's basketball team. They play the sport because they love what they do, even if it doesn't give them as much fame and attention as an able body player. Being in a wheelchair doesn't define a paralympian, it is just one minor detail
Paul Schulte's speech to USA U16 men's team