Basketball player Bill Amis is today’s guest on the Warrior Beat Show, which will begin at about noon today.
Questions may be posed on this blog or the show’s Cover It Live section.
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Jackson Wheeler has had a lifetime of heartbreak.
Because of family circumstances, as a prep student, Wheeler lived in his high school gym for several months. His first wife was killed in a traffic accident. She was pregnant at the time. His brother died young, leaving behind a large family.
But you would never know about such obstacles. He always appears to be upbeat, even when he isn’t.
For 20 years as the UH basketball team’s primary recruiter, Wheeler brought in some of the program’s best — Trevor Ruffin, Tes Whitlock, Anthony Carter, Michael Kuebler, Fabio Ribeiro, Tony Maroney, Phil Handy, Nerius Puida, Predrag Savovic, Eric Ambrozich, Micah Kroeger, and so forth.
Coaches from other programs often seek Wheeler’s advice on how to instruct their own recruits to do the things necessary to become eligible.
He was good at his job, because his job involved people. The people test, as proposed by the Wizard of Oz, is: A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
And people like Wheeler. Every day his UH office was filled with people just wanting to hang out.
Former players and coaches — and their families — keep in contact.
Riley Wallace’s grandson is named Jackson.
He even passed the most important people test: Oprah likes him. (Oprah’s boyfriend was the best man at Wheeler’s wedding.)
Wheeler will not be retained on the new basketball staff. That’s a shame — for UH, because Wheeler was good for the athletic department and the school.
But he’ll be OK. He has a great and beautiful wife. He has a lot of friends. And he’s a survivor.