Yeah Boie! From UW-Whitewater to Team USA


Evan Halpop

Former Warhawk men’s wheelchair basketball player and current UW-W employee John Boie made the most of his summer representing the United States in the 2017 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation America’s Qualifier.

UW-Whitewater Services Associate John Boie won gold in the 2017 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation America’s Qualifier in Cali, Columbia, over the summer.

The American team was in control for most of the America’s Qualifier. In pool play, Team USA easily defeated Mexico, Uraguay and the host country Columbia by over 50 points. But in the final pool play game, the American team was challenged by Brazil in a contest they won 47-43.

In finals play, Team USA defeated Venezuela and Argentina before defeating Canada 54-50 in the final.

Boie has his eyes set on more with Team USA, more specifically Tokyo 2020. But there are a couple stops beforehand. The next step for Boie and his USA teammates is the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.

UW-W head wheelchair basketball coach and former Paralympian Jeremy ‘Opie’ Lade knew Boie had the potential to be a Paralympian from a young age.

“I remember John when he was a little kid coming to wheelchair basketball camps,” Lade said. “He had a natural ability to score, he could move his chair and once he started to dedicate himself to play at the next level then you could see he was going to be an elite athlete.”

Boie, 26, won three national championships playing for UW-W men’s wheelchair basketball team from 2009-2012. Boie said his favorite memory while playing for UW-W was defeating the University of Illinois by 41 points in the 2012 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball championship game.

Boie now works at UW-W in the Academic Advising & Exploration Center as a University Services Associate. Working at the University has helped Boie in many ways. Boie is able to get advice from UW-W wheelchair basketball head coach Lade.

Boie and Lade are workout partners who train together. During his lunch break, Boie will often go into the basement of the Academic Advising & Exploration Center to lift weights with Lade. He also scrimmages against the current team to stay in shape.

Last year, during the 2016-2017 season UW-W hosted the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. Boie said it was a wonderful experience.

“It was a point of pride, being an alumni. All the former great wheelchair basketball players came just to watch the current team and cheer them on,” Boie said. “We have a saying of ‘once a Warhawk always a Warhawk.’”

Seeing some of his former Warhawk teammates who also have gone on to represent the United States provided Boie with inspiration to push himself even harder to achieve his goal of representing the United States in international play.

Boie will continue to train with UW-W and individually until Team USA travels to Hamburg, Germany in August 2018 to partake in IWBF World Championships. As for the men’s wheelchair basketball team, their season will start on Nov. 3 when they travel to Arlington, Texas to play a tournament that is hosted by the defending national champion University of Texas-Arlington.