Shooting for an Olympic goal

By Chad Weber

October 28, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:31 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- The next Olympic games may seem a long way off for most people but for one competitor in East Peoria, the dream is just coming to fruition.

It's another day in the gym for East Peoria senior Karson Milsteadt.

He's used to working around his hand and leg deformities but now, he's got new motivation.

"When he called and said that he made that team, chills went up and down my spine," said Mark Milsteadt, Karson's Dad. "I means it's you did it."

That team is the US paralympic basketball team.

Milsteadt was one of 18 people who qualified for the squad in a tryout in Colorado Springs last week.

What is even more impressive for Milsteadt is that he's only been playing wheelchair basketball for a little over a year.

"I was shocked, I mean, only having 16 months of experience, I was not expecting to make it." said Karson Milsteadt. "I was expecting it to be a learning experience and be able to go back in four years and try it again."

"Your not going to hold him back," said Mark Milsteadt. "He's one of those that if you tell him he can't do it, he's going to prove you wrong."

Karson's family say it is his work ethic he has to thank for his success. He spends about three to four hours at the Eastside Center in East Peoria working on his game.

And, Milsteadt says he needs all the practice he can get, the next cut comes in June. If he makes the final roster, he'll head to Turkey next September to represent his country.

"That's what's unique about Karson is that he can always go to that next level, seems like he's always ready for that next level," said Mark.

That next level may be winding up on the podium, fulfilling his Olympic dreams.

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