Most thought they’d never be in this position.
“I was an athlete in high school. Mainly football,” says Chuck Gill.
But sometimes life has different plans.
“One night, I decided to go out with my friends to a night club in San Francisco. I was leaving and a young man approached me, shot me, robbed me and ran off. The bullet went through my chest, went through both of my lungs, and shattered my spine,” says Arthur Renowitzky.
Just like that, Arthur’s life was turned upside down.
But after an extensive stent in rehab, Arthur was introduced to wheelchair basketball.
“I love my team. I love my teammates, and I just love traveling, giong to war, you know, when we go to our tournaments and play ball,” says Arthur.
The Golden State Wheelchair Basketball program began in 1976.
The program has continued to grow ever since, giving people with disabilities an outlet to remain in sports.
The program did just that for Chuck Gill, who became disabled after a bout with spinal meningitis.
“It does so much for so many people,” Gill explains. “You know for myself, the teamwork, the self condifience.”
The Road Warriors have become one of the premiere wheelchair basketball teams in the country.
They won the MWBA championships in 2001 and 2004.
They are lead by Paul Jackson, who has been the head coach for the lasy 42 years.
“Soon as I think about leaving, some young kid comes through the door and that challenges me to turn that kid into a basketball player. It comes out in me every time,” says Jackson.
Wheelchair basketball isn’t all that much different from basketball you see on T.V.
It’s five-on-five and every two pushes you have to dribble.
Gill has been playing for 27 years and has represented the United States on the paralympic U.S. National Team.
“When I’m on the court, I look at myself and I’m and athlete,” says Gill.
Like in most sports, the impact goes beyond x’s and o’s.
“It’s something that saved my life and can save a lot of other people’s lives who are in this position, and want an outlet for an activity or sport,” says Arthur.
If you want to learn more about how you can help, visit www.lgof.org.