Longmeadow boy reflects on past experiences that lead to athletic stardom

Longmeadow boy reflects on past experiences that lead to athletic stardom
Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 12:42 AM EDT
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LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -This week, Western Mass News spoke with Daniel Wheeler, an eighth grader from Longmeadow, who you can find in the endzone or scoring on the basketball court. But, Daniel has had to overcome several obstacles to get where he is today.

“It is just a miracle, really. Like my mom said, the doctor said I would never be able to play sports,” Daniel explained.

Wheeler is known as an elite athlete. His parents Lori and James wheeler told Western Mass News he had to overcome significant physical challenges to get where he is now.

“At a young age, Daniel had some gate abnormalities that required the services of Shriners and they ultimately put him in braces and over time helped him correct that gate abnormality,” he said.

Lori said his rehabilitation team was critical in Daniel’s development, but so was Daniel’s attitude:

“I think he had to overcome a lot. I think he is really dedicated,” Lori said.

“I used to go to Greenwood and I remember I was not allowed to participate in gym. Then, once I could, it was a lot of fun.

While it was fun for Daniel, probably not fun for his opponents,” Daniel said.

“Daniel is a star. Special is a great thing to say as well. But he is a star,” said David Sanger, one of Daniel’s coaches.

Daniel plays football, basketball, and baseball to name a few. Sanger said his work ethic is unmatched.

“He has practiced so much, he is not missing a beat of any growth,”

while he is a star athlete, his parents say it’s his character, they are most proud of.

“That is what I like to see the most. Striving every time he is out on the field and that lifts the other players and that is all I can ask for as a parent,” James said.

“I wish seven years ago I could see him now. it was very stressful, so it makes me extra proud to see him excelling,” Lori said.

Daniel said his goal is to play either basketball or football in college.

He knows as well as anybody that nothing worth having in life, is easy.

“All of that is going to come with hard work. if I keep working, the chances, I think, will get higher,” he said.