Meet Wheelchair Basketball Ixhelt Gonzalez’s Beloved Mother Tomasa Gonzalez and her Siblings

Athlete Ixhelt Gonzalez, 19, has qualified to compete in the forthcoming Paris Paralympics of 2024 and will represent the United States. She won a bronze medal while competing for the United States of America in the 2020 Paralympics in Japan. Her hip and leg bones twist inward due to femoral anteversion, a condition that has been diagnosed in this very motivated individual. She plays wheelchair basketball with great skill.

Ixhelt Gonzalez secured gold and a Paris Ticket in the Santiago 2023 Parapanam Games Final

The USA have defeated Canada and with two crucial baskets from Ixhelt Gonzalez and a buzzer-beater by Lindsay Zurbrugg, secured a six-point lead. The American national team handled the pressure with balance, winning the gold and getting tickets to the Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024.

“It is really exciting to get to play with the national team,” “I will just keep on trying and work on things to do better.”

Ixhelt said.

When was Ixhelt Gonzalez born? and meet his proud brother

Gonzalez was born on June 1, 2004, in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Her mother’s name is Tomasa Gonzalez, and the teen appreciates the sacrifices and support her mother provided, which pushed Ixhelt to succeed at a young age.

One of Ixhelt’s teammates on the Chicago Skyhawks is her 19-year-old brother Guillermo, who has cerebral palsy. As his sister prepares for tryouts, he acts as her trainer, counting the number of baskets she makes and the laps she runs in 12 minutes. Guillermo is surely excited for his sister to be invited to play on such a renowned team.

Ixhelt Gonzalez with her Team
Image: Ixhelt Gonzalez with her team (Source: Ixhelt’s Instagram)

Ixhelt is currently enrolled at the University of Alabama. She has been on the USA national team since competing at the 2019 under-25 world championships. Gonzalez is also intellectually gifted, weighing full-scholarship offers from the University of Alabama and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she plans to study architecture.

In the offseason, Ixhelt also plays wheelchair softball.

Ixhelt Suffers from a rare disease

Ixhelt was diagnosed with a rare condition called femoral anteversion, which causes her hips and feet to twist inward. While this condition does not require her to use a wheelchair in her daily life, it makes playing sports almost impossible for her.

Despite the painful nature of her condition, Ixhelt has been playing wheelchair basketball since she was 7 years old. When her mother first suggested it, Ixhelt was uncertain, but she has since found that she feels most at home on the basketball court in her wheelchair.

Through her disability, Ixhelt is breaking barriers and proving that she can excel in sports just like any other teenager. Wheelchair basketball has allowed her to follow her passion and enjoy sports in a way that would otherwise be very difficult for her.

Ixhelt Gonzalez started her Wheelchair Basketball at just 7

When Ixhelt was 7 years old, her older brother Guillermo, who has cerebral palsy, was going through rehab. A wheelchair basketball coach approached Ixhelt and her mother and asked if she would be interested in playing. Ixhelt’s mother, Tomasa, encouraged her to try it because she saw how much it helped Guillermo.

Ixhelt started playing wheelchair basketball at the age of 7 with the Chicago Park District’s Skyhawks team. At first, she was shy and reluctant to touch the ball, but her coach encouraged her to keep at it.

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She ended up being very good and helped the Skyhawks win the national title for the junior prep division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association in the 2015-16 season. She was then promoted to the team’s junior 10-foot division.

Ixhelt’s skills caught the attention of the coach of the U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team, Trooper Johnson. When he saw her play at a camp in November, he invited her to try out for the national team. At just 13 years old, Ixhelt was the youngest person trying out for the 17-player roster. She ended up being the youngest member of the team.

Ixhelt becomes the youngest wheelchair Basketball player

Ixhelt Gonzalez was named the Player of the Year in Alabama and made the All-America First Team. At just 13 years old, she represented the United States at the 2018 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship, finishing in sixth place.

Gonzalez also represented the United States at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in the wheelchair basketball women’s tournament, where she won a bronze medal.

Even though her first Paralympic Games experience was unusual due to the pandemic, she held the opportunity and continued to learn from the more experienced players.

In 2022, Gonzalez again represented the United States at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, where she once again won a bronze medal. With Gonzalez handling the ball, the team was able to balance the court, create space, and take shots within their range.

The coach of the women’s team praised Gonzalez, saying that the teenage player not only holds her own but also outperforms some of the older women on the team. Gonzalez’s love and talent for basketball have developed through playing at Rainbow Beach Park in South Chicago, in an adaptive sports program run by the Chicago Park District and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Now being the youngest player on the national team, Gonzalez has her sights set on winning gold at the 2024 Paris Paralympics. She is training hard at the team’s training center in Chicago to make this goal a reality.