Paul Schulte: Mormon Athlete
Paul Schultz loved sports and found it difficult for awhile to adapt to a spinal cord injury he sustained in a car crash when he was ten-years-old. By the time he was fourteen years old, he played in his first wheelchair basketball game. The sport gave him skills and confidence to move forward with other goals. He obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and while studying there, he was recruited to play on the Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team. The team took the 2002 National Intercollegiate Championship. He was named tournament MVP and first team All-American. The university later retired his number 20 jersey.
In 2003 he was nominated for an ESPY for “Best Disabled Athlete.” The same year he was nominated for a Laureus World Sports “Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.” Prior to the 2012 London Paralympics, he was featured in PBS’s “Medal Quest: American Athletes and the Paralympic Games.” He won a bronze medal in men’s wheelchair basketball at both the 2012 Summer Paralympics and the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. He placed fourth at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
He took gold at the 2011 in the Parapan American Games, silver at the1997 U23 World Championship, gold at the 1998 IWBF World Championships, bronze at the 2001 U23 World Championships, silver at the 2006 IWBF World Championships, and bronze at the 2010 IWBF World Championships.
After graduating from college, he played on the Dallas Mavericks team that won four National Championships (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009). He later became the team’s coach.
Schulte designs sports and recreation equipment for entry level, advanced, and elite athletes who are handcyclists or play wheelchair basketball or tennis, or race. A performance basketball wheelchair of his design bears his name.
He announced his retirement from the USA Men’s Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball National Team in March 2016.
Schulte and his wife, Megan, are the parents of one son. Shulte is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.