Gary Venjohn

Gary Venjohn


In 1978, after a spinal cord injury, Gary was introduced to wheelchair basketball by Joe Gomez at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver, CO. After discharge Gary went back home to Casper, WY and started his first team the Casper Chairmen of the Boards, and joined the old Rocky Mountain Conference a player and administrator in 1979.  

In 1987 Gary moved to Mesa, AZ and started the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns as a player and administrator. He retired from playing in 1998 and began coaching the team and taking two team to the NWBA National Tournament Final Four. The one team has grown into a program with five teams and community education and awareness programs. Gary is the Executive Director of the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns and the coach for the Championship Division Suns.

Gary has served on numerous boards in the greater Phoenix area, including but not limited to, the Governors Council on Spinal and Head Injuries, the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association. He received the state of Arizona 2001 Hon Kachina Award for a top volunteer of the year. Gary has served on the NWBA board and served on various committees and received the NWBA Spirit Award in 1997.

In his professional career Gary has managed department stores, owned his own companies, and is a consultant for the ADA doing surveys for accessibility and as an expert witness in wrongful employment discharge under the ADA. He worked for Arizona State University (ASU) where he was asked to start a program for Career Planning and Development for Students with Disabilities. Gary received the ASU Outstanding Program Development Award in 1997.

Gary has two sons and eight grand children, six step grand children and one great grand child. Yup! That makes him old!