Wesley B Walker
Three Sport Champion
Lawrence High School
Wesley B. Walker. Graduated from LHS in 1954 where he had excelled in Football
as a defensive end. He then entered the Army where he was a championship player in football and boxing.
He never had a basketball coach. Years later, he played for the Iowa Ghosts, and in 1957, he was recruited to play for the Harlem Jesters, a farm club for the Harlem Globe Trotters.
Wesley had long boxed in the local area, but in the army, his boxing career took off. He knocked out his first seven opponents in 1958 in the first round and became known as "The Knock-out King." His career boxing record was 97 wins, 11 Loses and 1 "split decision". The "split decision" was to Buster Mathis who at the time out-weighed Wesley by 100 lbs. Mathis went on to become World Heavyweight Champion.
A tragic car crash, in March of 1965, would have ended sports for a lesser man. He almost lost his left leg, and would have, except for the intervention of Dr. Penfield Jones, who knew he was a born fighter.
Two years after his accident he moved from Kansas to Illinois where he was first exposed to the Chicago Sidewinders Wheelchair Sports Club. After just two years
with the Sidewinders, he was chosen to represent the USA in the Pan Am wheelchair sports competition.
Wesley B. Walker not only fought to save his leg, but he also went on to become a World Champion from his wheelchair, in both discus and the shot-put. He participated in wheelchair basketball and track.
He was the National Champion in the discus and shot-put from 1968 through 1971. He was a medalist in the Pan American Games in 1969 and 1971. In 1969 in Argentina, he won the gold in shot-put, silver in discus and bronze in javelin. In 1971, in Kingston, Jamaica, he won three gold medals one each for shot-put, discus, and javelin.
All along he touched peoples" lives. He coached boxing and basketball. When his wheelchair might have stopped him, his passion kept him growing. He went on to a life of service, coaching boxing as well as track and field. He was there for kids, giving them the attention he lacked.