Wheelchair basketball player from Brooks Rehab gets scholarship
Tim Houston won two national championships playing for the Brooks Ballers and the Bullsharks. He also represented Team USA internationally.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — At Brook’s Family YMCA, wheelchairs smash and tangle to get into position on the basketball court.
Above the symphony of destruction, a maestro plots his next move.
“For me when I started it was about getting the ball in the basket, I’m going to score all the points,” said former Brooks Bullshark and Baller Tim Houston.
“But as I grew as a player it was more about getting the team involved and making sure we got the win.”
Houston played for both Brooks Rehabilitation wheelchair basketball teams and helped lead both to a national title.
He also represented the United States, winning a gold medal last March at the Americas U-23 Championship in Mexico. The win guaranteed Team USA a spot at the World Championships this fall in Thailand.
“You know, during the opening ceremonies of this tournament, I was like wow, I can’t believe I’m here and it’s been quite the journey,” Houston said.
Houston had a blood clot in her leg and had to have it amputated days after she was born.
Finding competitive sports has always been a challenge, but one day in college he decided to walk through the doors of the Brooks YMCA.
“At the end of the summer, after my seventh year and I went out probably about six guys here, they needed some extra people, so they let me jump on the chair and push with them and I pulled like if I shot a regular ball standing up and shot about two feet short and I was like it was a little bit different,” Houston said with a smile.
From that moment Houston was hooked and discovered his passion for wheelchair basketball.
“He had a desire to grow to learn how to improve, he listened to other players, he listened to coaches and things like that, he listened to coaches and things like that and he did what they said instead of just doing what he wanted to do,” Brooks Ballers head coach Randy Pullings said.
From air balloons to leading his team on the national stage, Houston has opened a new door for his future. One he will kick off this fall in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as a member of the University of Alabama wheelchair basketball team.
“I was just over the moon, it’s an opportunity to go to college and get an education, play basketball, which is every kid’s dream, right?” Houston said.
“It’s inspiring because you realize it’s just not a recreational thing, there’s an opportunity to really see the world,” Pullings said.