Du Quoin High School Basketball Coach Connor Wheeler
Soon after returning from the Eldorado tournament, Anders began feeling unwell with severe headaches that soon developed into full-fledged medical emergencies; ultimately, he was diagnosed with spinal meningitis.
Du Quoin High School serves 462 students and boasts a 13:1 teacher-student ratio. Du Quoin ranks in the bottom 50% for both math proficiency testing and reading proficiency assessment.
Personal: Connor Wheeler
Connor Wheeler was born in Carbondale, Illinois, to Wendell Wheeler (all-time winningest basketball coach at DuQuoin High School) and Kim Wheeler (graduate of SIUE). Wheeler’s sister Macie plays softball for Saint Louis’ Billiken softball team as an underclassman. Wheeler joined Southern Illinois as an assistant coach before transitioning into Missouri as a graduate assistant, helping the Salukis to an impressive 7-0 start, including defeating Butler to end their nation-leading 59-game home-court winning streak! Connor joined SIU’s staff full-time beginning this year after serving at Southern Illinois as an assistant as an assistant (A) before helping guide Missouri as a graduate assistant coach. Connor took his position as assistant coach at Missouri and was instrumental in assisting him in leading them against Butler to end its nation-leading 59-game nonconference winning streak resume.
The 2022 5Star Preps Offensive Underclassman of the Year combined durability, toughness, and breakaway speed in an agile 5-foot-8, 170-pound package. He was an integral component of Powell High’s offense and shared single-season rushing records alongside some elite teammates — such as program leader Dy’Shawn Mobley!
He earned two all-state performances. As a senior, he averaged 21 points and six rebounds per game while leading his team to a regional title. While in college, he received all-conference honors two times as well as honorable mention all-state recognition.
Wheeler was co-captain of Columbia’s men’s basketball team during his time there and led them in scoring during both his junior and senior seasons, garnering him recognition from both conferences: All-ACC selection as a junior; All-American second-team selection in 2007; four-time Big East All-Tournament team member and Big East Player of the Week honoree during February 2007 as a junior; member of 2007 NCAA Tournament championship squad with 1,688 career points scored while finishing eighth on Columbia’s career scoring list before receiving his all-ACC selection; Big East Hall of Fame honor in 2014.
Academics: Connor Wheeler
Connor Wheeler is majoring in education and plans to become a high school teacher after graduation. Additionally, he’s a member of Phi Kappa Psi, a national fraternity that promotes academic excellence, with an outstanding 3.95 grade point average and being on the Dean’s List. Thanks to these academic successes, Connor received a scholarship to play hockey at UW Madison as well as being chosen as one of five finalists for this year’s Scholz Award, which recognizes America’s premier defender.
Wheeler was an outstanding basketball player at Du Quoin and Carbondale before leading the Salukis to a perfect 7-0 start this year – their best start ever! That included knocking off Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse to snap their 59-game nonconference home-court winning streak. As such, Wheeler earned both Missouri Valley Conference’s Freshman of the Year honors as well as first-team All-MVC honors.
Wheeler was instrumental in mentoring freshman Marcus Domask to be recognized as an All-American by consensus and receiving the MVC Newcomer of the Year award as well. Along with helping Domask excel, Wheeler also assisted Lance Jones’ development into one of a pair of freshmen that finished the season with a 24-7 record in MVC play.
Du Quoin defeated Pinckneyville, 48-44, in four quarters at Beaucoup before their final 3-point attempt missed at the buzzer – a historic comeback victory that sends both teams on to Class 2A regional semifinals Friday at Anders Gymnasium.
Wheeler will face Nashville in his finals matchup after both advanced from their semifinal matches. Wendell Wheeler was a longtime high school coach and all-time leading scorer for Du Quoin; Kim Wheeler played softball at SIUE before becoming head coach of the Carbondale girl’s softball team; his sister Macie currently attends Saint Louis, where she plays for Billikens as an underclassman; Wendell served as chairman of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund which raised funds to build a memorial in Washington D.C; while serving undercover was scrutinized during his four-year term by WDVM-TV documentary series which cast aspersions on his fundraising practices before eventually publishing his memoir Touched with Fire: The Future of Vietnam Generation Generation in 2016.
Honors: Connor Wheeler
Du Quoin High School athletic department hosted a special event this week to recognize two of its all-time great athletes: Monte Khnert (#17 football jersey) and Connor Wheeler (#35 basketball jersey). Both jersey numbers were retired; this decision was approved at a meeting by the Du Quoin Board of Education on Thursday evening.
Du Quoin opened their season against Pinckneyville in what proved to be an entertaining yet chaotic game. Both teams struggled to put the ball into the basket. Du Quoin struggled initially, falling behind 20-11 by the quarter’s end.
In the second half, they began to find their stride and pull away in the third quarter, scoring more points than they gave up and ultimately going on to defeat their opponent, 61-52, winning their opening game of the Arrowhead Classic.
On the defensive side, Connor Wheeler was outstanding. He managed to get to the basket and score several times while also making big stops on the other end – crucial because they stopped the Indians from scoring freely and giving themselves an easy victory.
Connor proved himself on the glass as well. He grabbed several rebounds and contributed several points while also contributing to team play with his passing ability; overall,, Connor proved himself to be an all-around performer this season for the Indians.
Connor Wheeler is an outstanding student. He’s a member of the National Honor Society and an academic all-state performer, majoring in elementary education at Illinois Wesleyan. Born to Wendell and Kim Wheeler and with an older sister Brittney playing for Illinois State Redbirds, their family lives in Carbondale.
Activities: Connor Wheeler
Connor Wheeler is an integral member of his community and actively takes part in many activities. He is currently a coach at Southeast Missouri State, where he helped the Redhawks win their first Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title since 1993; previously an assistant coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, where he led them to their best start ever as well as top 15 defensive performance nationally.
Additionally, Coach Walker is also an accomplished singer. On November 1, 2020, at 3:00 PM, he will present his senior recital to showcase four years of vocal study at Muskingum University.
The event will take place at Wheeler Auditorium and is free for visitors, though food or toy donations will be accepted as entry tickets. Baysinger Architects and SIJHSAA will both sponsor this initiative.