Two-time U.S. Paralympic Games bronze medalist Paul Schulte announced his retirement from the USA Men’s Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball National Team. Schulte’s first Paralympic Games action was at the 2000 Sydney Games where he took home his first bronze. At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, Schulte and his teammates fell short finishing fourth, and rebounded for a bronze at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Schulte, who first found international success in 1997 with a silver medal at the Under 23 World Championships, was co-captain of the U.S. men’s wheelchair basketball team and has been instrumental in helping the team bring home countless accolades since he first joined. His most recent accomplishment while donning the U.S. jersey was capturing the silver medal at the 2014 IWBF World Championships in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
Schulte will still have a presence on the hardwoods as his Miami Heat Wheels team is the defending National Tournament Champ. He will continue to mentor and inspire future Paralympians, and give back to the sport as it has given so many great opportunities for him that are beyond a lifetime of memories.
“We want to wish you the best in your future endeavors, and we will miss you in the Team USA colors,” said Sarah Castle, NWBA President. “Your contributions to the sport have been numerous. There are many athletes who aspire to be like you. Your leadership and sportsmanship on and off the court is the true essence and the spirit of USA wheelchair basketball. Thank you for your many years."
The numerous contributions Schulte has made to the sport over the past 20 years have undoubtedly contributed to spreading its popularity and helping attract and grow a new crop of athletes from the Junior Division straight through to College and beyond.
“He is the type of leader I hope to be,” said Steve Serio, co-captain of the winning 2015 U.S. Parapan Am Games team. “He is driven and passionate when it comes to his game, while making other players around him better.”
After long consideration on making this monumental decision, Schulte is proud of all national team members, from athletes, coaches, trainers, and support staff.
“I cannot understate the gratitude I feel from every USA coach, trainer, and manager that I have been privileged to work with over the years, as well as U.S. Paralympics for all their amazing support,” said Schulte. “Those that have played for the USA team know of the brotherhood that forms and the lifelong friendships. To be short, that brotherhood is amazing and one of the best parts of playing for your country. I look forward to every opportunity I have to reconnect with every USA teammate I have had, as well as meeting that next generation of players that will wear the USA letters on their chest. I love the USA team and will be the biggest cheerleader for Team USA.”
Paul started playing wheelchair basketball when he was 14. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington where he played for the Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team. In 2002 that team won the National Intercollegiate Championship. Paul was named Tournament MVP, First Team All-American and later the university retired his No. 20 jersey. After college, he played on the Dallas Mavericks team and helped lead them to four National Championships. Schulte has garnered five NWBA MVP trophies from Junior, College and Championship divisions.
Among his many honors, he was nominated for an ESPY in 2003 for “Best Disabled Athlete.” He was a 2003 Laureus World Sports nominee for “Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability” and was featured in PBS’s “Medal Quest: American Athletes and the Paralympic Games” prior to the London 2012 Paralympics.
Schulte is a design engineer at Invacare Top End, which put out a signature line of Paul Schulte wheelchairs for basketball that many of our athletes use in competition. He is married to Meghan and they have a son named Brady.
2000 Sydney - Bronze
2008 Beijing - 4th place
2012 London - Bronze
Other Career Highlights:
2014 IWBF World Championships - silver
2011 Parapan American Games - gold
2010 IWBF World Championships - bronze
2009 NWBA Men’s Champion
2007 NWBA Men’s Champion
2006 IWBF World Championship - silver
2005 NWBA Men’s Champion
2005 NWBA Men’s Division, MVP
2003 NWBA Men’s Champion
2003 NWA Men’s Division All Tournament Team
2002 IWBF World Championship - gold medal and MVP
2002 NWBA Collegiate Division Champion and MVP
2001 U23 World Championship - bronze
1999 NWBA Collegiate Division MVP
1998 IWBF World Championship - gold
1997 U 23 World Championships - silver
1997 NWBA Junior Division Champions MVP
1995 NWBA Junior Division Champion