The Golden State Wheelchair Basketball program began in 1976. Founded by Bill Duncan. The program started as the Golden State 76ers, playing basketball around the country and barely making the bottom 25 in Sports N’ Spokes, the official wheelchair sports magazine in its first year. But the team was thrilled to have its name in print, to let the wheelchair basketball world know that they existed. The hard work and dedication from the players, the coaches, and supporters paid off as the Road Warriors have become one of the premier teams in the NWBA. The defining moments came in 2001 and 2004 when the team captured the ever-elusive championship trophy as the top team in the NWBA.
Golden State quickly made a name for itself and rose to the top twenty and eventually the top ten and then the top five. Players like Kevin ‘Tree’ Lowery, Dave Efferson, Mike Elix, Rod Williams, Phil Kahn, Jeff Breilh, and Peter Sanchez started the climb and the additions of Trooper Johnson and Chuck ‘G’ Gill made the Golden State team a contender for the national title. The Warriors were considered by many wheelchair basketball followers as one of the most complete team in the history of the sport. Under the direction of Head Coach Paul Jackson (now a Hall of Famer), a well respected coach and teacher of the sport, the team has become a dominant force in the sport of wheelchair basketball.
Golden State affiliated with the Golden State Warriors in the early 90’s and became the official wheelchair basketball team of the Warriors and changed their name to the Golden State Road Warriors.
Golden State has participated in numerous post-season competitions and has competed in many final fours, winning the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) title in 2001 and 2004 and. Numerous players from the Road Warriors have represented the United States in international competitions, as well as coach Jackson.
Our Founder: Bill Duncan
Injured in a car accident, Bill was introduced to wheelchair basketball at an early age. Seeing a man in a wheelchair basketball shirt, Bill approached him and said he used to play years earlier. The man asked if he would be interested in starting a new team and perhaps playing again, Bill said yes and the Golden State team began in 1976. Bill not only played ball, he took the leadership role of the team and became its manager, mentor and found, today, one of the best coach’s around, Paul Jackson. Bill helped make his team one of the best, both on and off the court. Respected by competitors, the team’s reputation grew as tough competitors on the court and good guys off the court. Bill volunteered countless hours to make not only Golden State the best it could be, but the NWBA the best organization for disabled sport. He served as various chairs in the NWBA, attending every annual meeting for 25 years.
Bill lost his battle with melanoma in June of 2000 and Golden State captured the ultimate prize a few months later, having dedicated that season to their founder and friend. Today, the team continues to honor Bill and his contributions by hosting the Bill Duncan Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament the first weekend in December each year. The NWBA inducted Bill into the NWBA Hall of Fame in 2002 and honor him each year with the Bill Duncan Good Guy Award, presented to an outstanding volunteer in the sport of wheelchair basketball.