Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Gribble dribbles down court

April 1, 2015 By Emily Leclair

Life does not always allow us to follow the path that we want. We face hardships and roadblocks and sometimes, our passion is taken from us. Kyle Gribble did not lose his passion, but rather, found a different way to do what he loves.

Gribble was diagnosed with Blount’s disease at two years old. The disease is a growth disorder of the tibia that cause the lower legs to start to angle inward, forming a bowleg according to

Unable to play able-bodied sports due to the restriction he had with his legs, he had to find another outlet.

This is when Gribble discovered wheelchair basketball and has been playing since he was 11 years old.

After winning the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball tournament with the UW-Whitewater men’s wheelchair  basketball team Gribble didn’t stop there.

This past summer, Gribble went to England to represent the U.S. national track and field team, medaling in shot put, discus and javelin.

“I found that if I work hard, it’ll pay off in the end,” Gribble said.

Gribble discovered the game of wheelchair basketball through his hospital where he was eventually introduced to the Chicago Wheelchair Bulls and got in contact with the coach. From there, Gribble found his way to the Whitewater Wheelchair Basketball camps and that’s when he knew Whitewater would be his home when it came time for college.

“When I was here, and every time I was here, it just felt like home,” Gribble said. “I felt this specific comfort that I had every time I was on campus or around campus.”

Gribble met head coach Jeremy Lade through the camps eight years ago, and Lade has watched as Gribble grew as a person and as an athlete.

“He’s obviously a very good basketball player, but he goes above and beyond at camp,” Lade said. “He’s going to do what it takes to make sure that people around him are having the most fun or he’s getting the most out of them.”

The idea of playing wheelchair basketball did not sit well with Gribble’s father or friends at first.

“They didn’t really know it was another opportunity for me,” Gribble said. “They didn’t know that having a physical disability kind of limited me because I would always go out and play football with them, but I couldn’t play for a long time.”

Gribble has been able to see the world courtesy of his athletic abilities. He made the national team for track and field for the first time in 2011 and qualified to travel to Dubai, but due to international issues the trip was cancelled.

Through all his success, Gribble credits the teammates he has made along the way.

“I just really couldn’t do anything without my teammates,” Gribble said. “I really appreciate that they are there for me. Even if we weren’t national champions, they would still be there for me at any time.”

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Founded 1901
Gribble dribbles down court