Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
Matt was diagnosed with spinal bifida at birth. In 1998, he began playing wheelchair basketball when he was just 14 years old. Matt played wheelchair basketball all throughout high school and in 2004 he was recruited to be on the U.S. Paralympic basketball team. In 2008, Matt graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in sociology and was nominated in that same year for an ESPY for “Best Male Athlete with a Disability.”
Matt has received national attention in a way that no other U.S. Paralympic athlete has as he was the first U.S. Paralympian to star in a Nike, Inc. advertisement, which was broadcast nationwide on New Year’s Eve in 2007 and New Year’s Day 2008.
Matt currently plays professionally in Germany for the Thuringia Bulls wheelchair basketball team and enjoys spending time with family, traveling, listening to music and reading. Matt helped Team USA win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 and hopes to repeat his gold medal performance at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Matt works closely with The Hartford, a Founding Partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, helping to positively change public attitudes and perceptions about disability.
For more information about Matt’s accomplishments, visit Team USA’s website.
Photo by Joe Kusumoto
7452 NS 4/19