Darren Schenebeck was born in Pine Bluff Arkansas in 1968. He was born with spina bifida, which limited his ability to walk, run and jump. For virtually all of his life he has used a wheelchair for mobility. As a young teen, he faced numerous families and school issues and describes himself as on his way to trouble when he first saw wheelchair basketball at a summer camp program for kids with disabilities. Darren asked to join the team but was told by Coach Harry Vines that he had to be 15 to play. Soon after his 15th birthday, Darren was at practice. While Coach let him practice, he did not play for the first year. But Darren, known for his tenacity, did not give up. He began to develop into a strong player as the Rollin’ Razorbacks moved from a recreational to a competitive team. Dubbed “Kid” by Coach Vines, the nickname would follow him through out his career.
During Darren’s early years, the team competed in the Arkansas Valley Conference, winning the conference championship for 10 straight seasons in the 1980s and early 1990s. He played in his first post-season tournament in a Southern Sectional in Atlanta in 1986, making the second team all tournament team as a class one.
Never attending a wheelchair basketball clinic or training program, Darren followed Coach Vines’ practice schedule, developing into a fast, strong shooter, but more important, as a tenacious defensive player. In order to allow the team to play their tall class 3s, Schenebeck often played 40 minutes in a game.
The Rollin Razorbacks came in second in the 1987 Midwest Sectional to the ultimate national champions and long time rivals Grand Rapids Pacers and Darren again made the all tournament team. In 1988, the Rollin Razorbacks won the Midwest Sectional and qualified for their first final four (in Kansas City). Though the team was outmanned in the tournament, it was the turning point for “Kid’ and the Hogs.
Adding 2 players in 1988 – 89 seasons, Schenebeck teamed with Class II Gary Woodring and Class IIIs Tim Kazee, James Coughlin and Dennis Williams to round out the Arkansas team. With him at guard, scoring from inside and out and his tenacious defense, the team developed into a powerhouse. From the 1987-88 seasons through the 2000-2001 seasons, the Rollin Razorbacks attended 13 NWBTS, 11 straight, winning 5, in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2000.
Darren had a scoring average of 12 points per game during those years with a personal high of 26 points at a home game. Coach Vines always said if Kid had 10, we would win. Though the team did not maintain statistics on assists, Darren had many.
A consummate team player, Schenebeck was never about individual accolades, though he won many. He was NWBT first team All Tournament in 7 of those years, second team in four.
Though Darren was not a frequent international player, due to his career working for the state of Arkansas Department of Information Services, he did play in the 1990 Gold Cup in Brugge, Belgium, when the US lost in the last seconds and came in second. He also played on the infamous 1992 Paralympic team who went undefeated in Barcelona, Spain. When Coach Vines retired from international competition, so did Kid.
Darren, who was the Arkansas ‘face’ of the team, Coach Vines and the ‘ Hogs’ developed what many consider the best community team in the NWBA in the 1990s. Many teams have used their Arkansas diamond defense. In addition to success on the court, the Rollin Razorbacks had a strong community presence, attracting hundreds to the Sylvan Hills Gym. They were the first community based NWBA national championship team to visit the president in the Oval Office at the White House and received accolades from 3 Arkansas Governors. The first Lady of Arkansas, Janet Huckabee was a huge fan and attended most home games. Kid was integral in the development of the Arkansas Super Spokes program, serving as basketball coach in clinics for kids with disabilities to learn the game, which became the start of our Junior Rollin Razorbacks program. He was also a strong fundraiser for the team.
Darren played one season after the last national championship and then retired, though he continued to support the team. Unlike many players who retire and return over and over, Kid’s retirement stuck, he has not played since 2001.
Darren works as a lead programmer for Acxiom Corporation. He and his wife Tonya and their two daughters live in Lonoke, AR.