DES MOINES, Iowa — Council Bluffs native Josh Turek is wheelchair-bound, but that did not stop him from becoming one of America’s best basketball players. The Paralympian traveled to Des Moines this weekend to help inspire others afflicted with his same condition.

Turek spoke at Camp Easterseals to mark the beginning of Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Turek’s spina bifida has kept him in a wheelchair, but he hoped to let people in the crowd know that their physical condition is not a reason to stop striving for success.

“One of the most important things you can do is to provide some hope and inspiration to the next generation,” Turek said. “I think all of us would like to leave things better than how we found them. To be able to give back to where things began for me is really meaningful.”

Turek won Paralympic gold with the USA basketball team, including at the Tokyo Paralympics last year.

“You can play professionally around the world,” Turek said. “You can represent your nation in the Paralympics. I hope that a few of these kids come away from this hoping to be the next Josh Turek and hoping to represent their country.”