Jr. NBA Coach of the Year

The Jr. NBA and Positive Coaching Alliance have partnered together to create a program designed to honor influential youth basketball coaches and the impactful work that they do for our game. The Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award is given to two youth basketball coaches –  one community coach and one scholastic  coach – in an NBA, WNBA, or G League team market who demonstrate leadership and integrity, exhibit a positive attitude towards all players, coaches, parents, and referees, and create a lasting impact on young people aged 14 and under both on and off the court.

We are pleased to announce the 2023 Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Winners! 

  • About The Program

    From the grassroots level to the professional level, the positive impact that a coach can have on an athlete is invaluable. A coach’s role extends beyond wins and losses to teaching life lessons and developing young people into healthy, confident and respectful adults through the medium of sport.

    The Jr. NBA Coach of the Year program will celebrate two categories of coaches: community and scholastic.  This initiative will recognize community and scholastic coaches across the youth basketball landscape who are committed to teaching the game we love at the grassroots level.

    • Jr. NBA Community Coach of the Year: This award goes to a coach that exhibits a lasting impact on their community as a whole; coach can work with non-profit and community organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, other non-profit youth-based organizations, or club/travel-based programs.
    • Jr. NBA Scholastic Coach of the Year: This award goes to a school coach, which could include a P.E. teacher, a teacher that coaches the school-based team, or a part-time employee that coaches the school team.

    Each participating NBA, WNBA and G League team can nominate a local coach in each respective category to automatically entered into the national Coach of the Year selection process. The Jr. NBA and Positive Coaching Alliance conduct a screening process to narrow the pool of nominees to five (5) national finalists per category. From the round of five, an executive panel of judges, an interview, and a public fan vote via social media determine the national Jr. NBA Coach of the Year winners.

  • 2023 Community Nominees

    The following individuals have been recognized by various NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League teams for their dedication and influence in their local youth basketball communities in 2022-23.

    Norris Bo' Bell
    Atlanta Hawks

    Norris Bo’ Bell is an Atlanta native with over 30 years of coaching experience and +25 years as founder of the Bo Bell Basketball Academy. Having played professional basketball for +13 years around the world, Norris has dedicated his life to sharing his expertise and personal experiences with athletes at multiple levels including the youth through basketball programming, financial literacy workshops, as well as leadership and Boys To Men programs.

    Joe Amorosino
    Boston Celtics

    Amorosino’s coaching career started at age 22 as the youngest head coach in Massachusetts at the time (Hopkinton HS). He then moved onto Quincy HS, leading his teams to seven state tournaments and one Suburban League Championship. He also coached three undefeated soccer teams at Quincy as well as coaching the track and cross-country teams. Joe then became Boston University’s assistant men’s coach and later Suffolk University Men’s assistant coach along with Wentworth University Women’s head coach. His successful coaching career was recognized by being elected to both the Quincy HS Hall of Fame and the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Joe’s basketball camp experience started in the late 60’s when he started operating clinics with the Celtics’ Larry Siegfried in 1968. He then started the Bay State Basketball School which he successfully managed until merging with Dave Cowens to form the Dave Cowens Basketball School, which ultimately merged with the Boston Celtics Summer Camps. This summer will be his 56th year of running and operating camps.

    Karlyn Dixon
    Charlotte Hornets

    Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Karlyn Dixon graduated Cum Laude from the Catholic University of America with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Philosophy minor while playing collegiately for the Lady Cardinals. Upon graduation she went on to pursue a Master’s of Education in Sport Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2014, while in graduate school, Dixon started The Elite Athlete Training Academy aiming to shape the elite of the future on and off court. After years of success and acquiring an 11,000 sq ft facility, she founded EAT Foundation, a non profit dedicated to supporting underserved individuals in her community through sport. Dixon believes that sports coupled with academics can help a person achieve great success.

    Alex Anaya
    Chicago Bulls

    Alex Anaya began his basketball career by playing at his local public school in Pilsen, Benito Juarez High School from 1989-1992. He then received a financial aid package to play college basketball at Truman college, one of the city colleges of Chicago. After playing for Truman, coach Anaya’s basketball career took him to play in Latino basketball tournaments throughout the United States. Coach Anaya played in these Latin American tournaments for 15 years winning several tournaments in including the highly competitive San Antonio Texas tournament and winning several MVP awards during this time. Once Coach Anaya became a father, he focused on his two children. However, he could never keep himself away from the game he loved so he became the varsity basketball coach at Crito Rey High School for 3 years, 2007-2009. Once his children became old enough to play he focused on teaching basketball to them and community friends.

    Wes Gerhardt
    Cleveland Cavs

    Wes Gerhardt, has worked at Special Olympics for the past three years at the Manager of Unified Sports. In his role he oversees Unified Sports programming in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state of Ohio. Wes also creates the schedules and game plan for what each Unified Champion School will follow for their school year. What Unified Champion Schools main goal is, is to promote social inclusion mainly through sports. It takes students with and without intellectual disabilities and allows them to compete on a team with one another.

    Chris Ortiz
    Dallas Mavericks

    Chris Ortiz is the father of Paz and Viva, and husband to wife Pam. He is a former HS Coach and moved into Real Estate Development to provide for his growing family. His passion is coaching and decided to volunteer at the Dallas YMCA to connect with his children and their friends.

    Marcus Johnson
    Dallas Wings

    Originally from Louisiana, Marcus is the Head coach at Providence Academy Basketball, Owner and CEO at OBA Youth Basketball League and Athletic Director at Fort Worth Dreamteam Basketball.

    Athena Lopez
    Denver Nuggets

    Athena Lopez, was a four-year letterman in soccer, basketball, and one year in track for high school. I earned Denver Post player of the year, First Team all conference, MVP for the state championship game, and invited to play in the Colorado all star game for soccer. My passion for soccer started at 5 years old and I continued on to play competitive soccer from the age of 12 to 18. After graduation, I received a full ride scholarship to University of South Carolina Upstate for soccer. I have continued to coach soccer for ages 4 to 12 for Denver Parks and Recs for some years. I also volunteered as a coach for Real Edge girls soccer. I assisted with coaching high school Varsity soccer at DSST in Denver. My basketball career started when I was 8 years old where I played for Denver Parks and Recs. In 8th grade, I started to play basketball on a competitive level where we traveled out of state and in state for tournaments where my team won numerous championships.

    Steven McElroy
    Detroit Pistons

    Steven McElroy aka “Coach Joe” has been coaching youth basketball for over 18 years in every capacity that you could imagine. He is the Lead Coach for the Detroit Pistons youth basketball program known as Pistons Academy. He leads a large percentage of community camps, clinics and community outreach programs for the organization. As well, he is the lead volunteer coach at Detroit Pistons “Neighbors Program,” which is an initiative that provides free high-level camps and clinics to youth throughout the city of Detroit; over 60+ free camps per summer. Coach Joe is also the co founder of the Dribblestick which is a ball-handling training device that is utilized throughout the state of Michigan and beyond. His enthusiasm, passion and reach throughout the Detroit metropolitan area is unmatched; both within the Pistons organization and far beyond. The Detroit Pistons are honored to nominate Joe because he is not the kind of person who seeks recognition or awards for his tireless work. We are proud to seek the recognition for him! Thank you for your consideration.

    Jaliza Collins
    Golden State Warriors

    Jaliza Collins is the assistant athletic director and girls basketball coach for Fremont High School (Oakland Unified School District). She is an Oakland Unified School District alumni and serves as a college and career counselor. She has positively impacted many youth in Oakland throughout her tenure of well over 10 years.

    Shellsea Benitez
    LA Clippers

    Shellsea Benitez is a youth coach for PeacePlayers Los Angeles where she supports their mission to use the game of basketball to bridge divides, create equitable opportunities, and build more peaceful societies. She is also a collegiate basketball player and, through her work with PeacePlayers LA, has coached within the Jr. Clippers program.

    Adrene Collins
    Las Vegas Aces

    Adrene “AC” Clemmons started coaching youth in 2013. AC started working for the Boys & Girls in 2015 and began coaching members in his home Club – James Boys & Girls Club. AC knew the importance of positive coaches and mentors in youth lives as he was a former member of the James Club, and because of this, he loves to mentor and coach whenever he can. He has coached flag football, soccer, floor hockey, and basketball, during his tenure with Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. The reason he loves coaching so much is that it helps build confidence in the members who want to pursue a career in sports and live a healthy lifestyle, and no matter how difficult life may get, you can work through the obstacle by working hard and perfecting your craft.

    Ian Smith
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Coaching and mentoring San Fernando Valley youth for over 20 years using basketball as a tool to help all youth learn how to set goals, overcome adversity, and build resilience through fun, hard work, and exercise. Believes all youth regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status should have a place to thrive, succeed, and be heard. Ian works to provide a safe space to for young boys and girls to establish life-long friendships, maintain social and emotional wellness, and instill the importance of communication and understanding. Worked with the City of Los Angeles to start a Youth Employment Program where youth ages 14-17 can obtain job skills (resume writing, job interview preparation, how to communicate professionally) and are placed to work with various community agencies. Believes in the motto “if you have the ABILITY to help others, then you have a RESPONSIBILITY to help others” and instills this in our youth. In collaboration with California State University Northridge Women’s Basketball team, the Los Angeles Police Department, and other sport professionals, hosted various basketball events and community forums that talk to our youth about careers in athletics and how to excel in the classroom and on the court.

    Allison Bustamante
    Miami Heat

    Allison Bustamante is the Owner and Head Trainer of AB Hoops Basketball. During her stellar prep career, she garnered several accolades, some of which include : 6x Miami All-Dade, 2x First Team All-State, 1x All-American, 2x Miami Dade Player of the Year selections. She currently holds the record as the all time leading scorer at Lourdes Academy with over 2,500 points. She was a top 50 nationally ranked player by Blue Star Basketball and was invited to the Adidas top 100 camp, where she was selected as an All Star. These accolades led her to a full athletic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. Allison founded AB Hoops in 2010 and currently trains all levels of athletes, ranging from beginners to high level collegiate and professional players. Since 2017 Allison has been the Head Coach of the girls varsity basketball team at Doral Preparatory Academy. Her desire to spotlight the female side of the sport in Miami led her to create the travel basketball organization Miami Impact, home of many of the top middle school players in Miami.

    Kenneth Nelson
    New Orleans Pelicans

    Kenneth Nelson “Coach KJ” has been coaching youth sports for 18+ years. He currently coaches and mentors youth athletes at Scott Area Team Sports for the Lafayette Parish Parks and Recreation Department which locally operates Jr. Pelicans Leagues as part of the wider network of Jr. NBA Leagues.

    Helen Settles
    New York Knicks

    Helen Settles has been coaching basketball and devoting herself to the youth, differently abled, and homeless in her community for 53 years. She coaches across every skill level and every age and provides free programming for families who aren’t able to afford standard costs for camps and clinics. In college Helen co-founded the Staten Islands Special Olympics basketball team, a team she now coaches. She began her career as a Social Studies and Special Education teacher during which time she started the Staten Island Unified Sports Program, a program dedicated to unifying special needs athletes and general education athletes by allowing them to play basketball together and since retiring she has continued to run the SI Unified Sports Program in the Staten Island community for 20+ years. Helen is a community hero who impacts her community on and off the court every day.

    Seth Mills
    Orlando Magic

    As a native of Washington DC, Seth was exposed to a rare combination of professional and streetball coaches and personalities, including his father who played Division 1 and professional basketball. Playing on the outdoor courts and then moving to basketball camps at Dematha, Mason Dixon, and Metro Index, Seth played High School Basketball at Maurice McDonough HS in Maryland, where he learned from the legendary Coach John Mappas. After working in the nonprofit, government, and commercial industries, Seth moved to Orlando and turned his attention to the world of web projects and producing marketing campaigns for a variety of tour & travel industry heavyweights including Universal Studios & Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Online. Seth joined the Downtown Orlando YMCA family in 2012 and began coaching in 2013. His Downtown Orlando Huskies have earned multiple championships in both Middle and High School, going undefeated in 2019 and 2021. When not developing engagement strategies for his marketing teams and coaching both Middle and High School basketball, you can usually find him in the boxing gyms or throwing axes in downtown Orlando, where he trains and lives with his girlfriend and 4 Siberian Huskies.

    Michael Lyde
    Philadelphia 76ers

    Coach Mike graduated from Rosemont College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. While attending Rosemont, he was a member of Men’s basketball team. He currently coaches and mentors at over 200 youth a year for Philadelphia Youth Basketball (PYB). A community-built youth empowerment organization that leverages the iconic game of basketball to help today’s urban youth overcome the most urgent and systemic issues facing underserved communities.

    Jennifer Richardson
    Phoenix Mercury

    Jennifer Richardson was born and raised in Houston, TX. She was the first and only female to play baseball for Mirabeau B. Lamar High School in Houston, TX. She earned a full scholarship playing softball for Brigham Young University. After being a 4-year starter, she was named to the Easton All-American Softball Team. She was also named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American Team. She is now a mom of 6 children ages 12-2 and has recently settled with her family in Mesa, AZ, after traveling the country as a military spouse for the past 10+ years. Teaching and coaching are her passions. She is a preschool and Secondary Math Teacher and Tutor as well as softball instructor and high school coach. She’s grateful for the memories she’s made coaching her children and their friends in youth sports over the past 7+ years.

    Tianjiao Fang
    Raptors 905

    Coach Tianjiao Fang is the Executive Director of Overseas Basketball Association. He is an experienced coach with true passion for coaching kids’ basketball at beginner and advanced levels. He has been leading and coaching Overseas youth basketball program and the Markham team for 10 years. “Basketball fundamentals” and ” team work” are two key elements emphasized in his training sessions. As a role model, he made an impact on his players and they became energetic and confident and love basketball and sports. Besides his success in managing his program and coaching the team, he also launched and organized basketball tournament leagues, social and charity sports events, facilitated multiple volunteer opportunities. His contribution to our community’s youth basketball development as well as social development is phenomenal.

    Dameon Andrews
    Sacramento Kings

    Coach Dameon Andrews has coached for the last twenty years. He started with the Youth Basketball Academy and has coached competitive AAU programs during that span taking his teams nationally and participating in competitive tournaments. He has enjoyed coaching all three of his sons: his oldest son Davion, Middle son Josiah who is a freshman that is the starting Point Guard for Rockling High Schools Varsity Basketball Team, and his youngest Adrian who has just begun playing in the 3rd grade this last year. You can find Coach Andrews almost every weekend and multiple times a week on a basketball court at Hardwood Palace. When he is traveling, its to coach his national AAU team or watch his son play basketball. He enjoys coaching his athletes up to high school. What brings him joy is knowing that a lot of his kids that he has coached over the years are high caliber players who are playing and contributing at JV and Varsity levels as Freshmen.

    Sulema Mendoza
    San Antonio Spurs

    Coach Mendoza has been coaching for over 6 years. As a Spurs Youth Basketball League volunteer coach and assistant coach for the Gold Mambas, she strives to keep the kids active in the community, ensure they are all doing well in school, and learn how to jump over hurdles life may throw at them. Coach is very active in the community and provides transportation for youth from the Eastside of San Antonio to ensure they do not miss any opportunity and have access to sport. You can always find Coach Mendoza on a basketball court, indoor or outdoor, training and playing ball. The court is her classroom – using the game to teach new techniques for dealing with stress and demonstrating how sports can heal and develop better athletes on and off the court. Coach Mendoza continues serving our community as a healthcare worker during the day, ensuring health equity for low-income families in San Antonio.

    Mike Mogard
    Sioux Falls Skyforce

    Mike Mogard is the coach of the Brookings Bobcats 3rd and 5th grade boys basketball teams. He loves being able to coach his sons and teach them about the game and about life at the same time. His highlights as a coach aren’t viewed through the lense of wins or losses, but rather through the camaraderie he sees his teams gain and how they grow together away from the sport just as much as they do at practices and at games. In fact, his most precious memories of coaching have nothing to do with competitive games. Rather he fondly recalls the annual parents v players game he hosts as well as watching his teams get to play a friendly game on Heritage Court ahead of a Skyforce game and see the faces of his kids light up when they heard their names announced over the PA in front of the packed house.

    Shaun Shell
    South Bay Lakers

    Shaun Shell was originally from St. Louis started coaching there at a local YMCA as a teen, and then went to University of Minnesota where as a student he was coaching AAU. He moved to LA and joined Paul Pierce’s The Truth, and also coached for Lawndale High School (coached Chimezie Metu of the Sacramento Kings), and then decided to completely shift his focus on youth sports and development by launching Be Gr8 in 2016.

    Bryon Windsor
    Santa Cruz Warriors

    Bryon is both the Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County’s recreation basketball league, and the full-time Clubhouse Director of the Joe & Linda Aliberti Clubhouse in Scotts Valley. In addition to coordinating and running our popular local basketball program, Bryon referees for the league, mentors coaches, and develops new programs that support the growth of the youth and staff at his Boys & Girls Club Clubhouse. Bryon is committed to helping kids learn more about health and physical fitness, building confidence and self-worth, and supporting their academic success and growth.

    Agnieszka Kurpaska
    Toronto Raptors

    Mississauga Monarchs U13 Girls; St Marguerite d’Youville Secondary School; A dedicated educator of the game and a powerful role model to young women across her community. Coach Aga has been motivated to curate stout athletes, both on and off the basketball court.

  • 2023 Scholastic Nominees

    The following individuals have been recognized by various NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League teams for their dedication and influence in their local youth basketball communities in 2022-23.

    Amir Hightower
    Atlanta Hawks

    Amir Hightower is the PE instructor, track & field and basketball coach at Community Christian School in Stockbridge, GA. With 6 years of coaching experience, the resounding support from the schools community and Amir’s commitment to using physical activity to impact students, athletes, parents, staff and local organizations – the Atlanta Hawks are proud to nominate Amir Hightower as the 2023 Atlanta Hawks Scholastic Coach of the Year!

    Kevin Drakeford
    Charlotte Hornets

    Coach Drakeford has the drive to ensure any team he is given is successful. He truly cares about his players both on and off the court. When he began coaching at Cannon School, the team had won only 1 of 19 games. After taking over the program, he completely turned it around and won the State Championship. Coach Drakeford is deserving of this award because of the countless hours he has poured into his program and his players to make them excellent players, and excellent people.

    Christopher Hennessy
    Chicago Bulls

    Christopher Hennessy is in his 23rd year of teaching, 18th as a P.E. teacher. All of his teaching has  occurred with Chicago Public Schools. He coached boys 7th/8th grade basketball for the first 9 years of teaching and girls 7/8 grade basketball for one year and has also run intramural sports, which included basketball, for many of the past 11 years. Christopher is also married with two sons.

    Candice Isaac
    Dallas Wings

    Coach Isaac is in her 7th year as the Head Basketball Coach for the Lady Wildcats at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. Within her seven years at Dunbar, she has produced 5 playoff appearances, 2 District Championships, Bi-District Champions, over 100 Wins, and District Coach of the Year.

    Thomas Jackson
    Denver Nuggets

    For over two decades I have had the honor and privilege of supporting youth in various capacities. Working in schools, youth treatment centers and juvenile corrections in roles such as Athletic Coach, Instructional Assistant, Mentor Dean and Youth Counselor have given me the opportunity to engage in youth development and support young men and women both mentally and physically. Growing up in the 90’s and being involved in sports from an early age has provided me with firsthand experience, knowledge and a personal insight and perspective on the challenges our youth (especially our youth of Color) face. It has been my personal experiences which drive and guide the work I do and it has been these experiences that have fostered my professional work and turned my passion into my purpose.

    Ashley Berumen
    LA Clippers

    Ashley Berumen is a School Climate Advocate for Los Angeles Unified School District, the Head Basketball Coach for Franklin High School, and a Jr. Clippers coach for the LA Clippers. She has been coaching for 5+ years is making a significant impact in the local education system.

    Fred Gayle
    Milwaukee Bucks

    Fred has coached for the Jr. Greyhound program for 15+ years and is the prime example of what you’d want in a youth basketball coach. He holds his players to a high standard but gives them all the guidance and support to succeed on and off the court. He teaches his players to compete at a high level but to understand that we are learning much more about life during your time on his team.

    Jonathan Sorapuru
    New Orleans Pelicans

    Coach Jonathan Sorapuru has been coaching for 15 years and aspires to see each of his students equipped and inspired to make an impact of their generation. Currently, Coach Sorapuru serves as an integral part of the advancement of the athletic and extracurricular department at Bishop McManus Academy and has for several years.

    Alesha Smith
    New York Liberty

    Alesha’s love for basketball began early when her mother and father introduced her to the game. She grew up playing basketball with her brothers and the other boys in her neighborhood until she was old enough to play on an organized team. Her work ethic and skill earned her a scholarship to play Division I basketball at Mercer University, but after an almost career-ending injury, Alesha would later transfer to Xavier University of Louisiana (an HBCU in New Orleans) where she would finish her collegiate basketball career with two conference championships and a B.A in Political Science in 2016. After graduation, Alesha turned down the opportunity to play professional basketball overseas because of her strong commitment to social justice. She instead decided to move to Brooklyn, NY and began her career as a Community Organizer at one of the largest nonprofits in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Community Services, where she worked in partnership with various mental health facilities, homeless shelters, community centers, and after school programs.

    Bernadine West
    Orlando Magic

    Bernadine West is a proud mother of 3. She is a Science Teacher, Basketball Coach, Track Coach, and Soccer Coach at Piedmont Lakes Middle School. Her philosophy is: Hard work pays off… stay disciplined and continue to work on and off the court. She aspires to hold more coaching certifications as she builds in her talents. Her family is very important as well as morals and values. West grew up in Apopka and is very involved in making it a better place. She loves sports and has used sports to keep herself on the right track. She not only keeps her own children involved in sports she encourages other children to do the same. West feels children need to be accountable for their actions and assists them in becoming better individuals.

    Rob Wharton
    Philadelphia 76ers

    Coach Rob has been a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia since 1999.He is also a Social Worker for a non-profit agency called GEMMA. Rob was an assistant varsity basketball head coach at his alma mater (West Philadelphia Catholic Prep) from 1999-2016 and assistant baseball coach for Philadelphia’s RBI League (Reviving Baseball in Inner cities) for boys/girls 16 and under. He is presently an assistant basketball coach at The Haverford School.

    Chris Collins
    San Antonio Spurs

    Coach Collins began his coaching career over 20 years ago in Kansas City before arriving in San Antonio, Texas, to share his passion for growing the game of basketball as the St. Anthony’s High School’s head girls’ basketball coach. Coach Collins’ spirit is about giving and helping our young athletes understand their purpose. In his first year, he became their biggest champion and advocated for more resources and investment in the girls’ basketball program. This season, the Lady Yellow Jackets had great success on the court by advancing into the second round of their district playoff games. His parents shared their enjoyment of watching him demonstrate and evolve his players’ mindset to understand the importance of being a humanitarian and giving back to their community. He gets the team involved in community volunteer programs during the season and continues investing in their everyday lives after the ball stops and the season ends.

    Josh Salandy
    Toronto Raptors

    An educator both on the court and in the classroom, Coach Josh has dedicated his time to shaping young men into stout athletes and responsible young citizens. Coach Josh has been a strong advocate for social justice and is a strong believer in building a better tomorrow, today.

  • 2023 Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Finalists

    Congratulations to the 2023 Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Finalists for their continued commitment to support and develop youth athletes goals both on and off the court.

  • Executive Voting Panel

    Our Executive Voting Panel is comprised of various individuals from the Jr. NBA Leadership Council, NBA league office, and Positive Coaching Alliance. This panel is tasked with providing guidance on the selection of our Coach of the Year finalists and national winner based on their respective basketball knowledge and experience.


    Carrie Barren

    A former D1 gager, Coach Berran has exceled the past decade as a youth basketball coach and administrator in the Eagan (MN) Athletic Association (EAA). She serves the association President managing all in-house and traveling basketball programs for over 1,000 athletes. Coach Berran’s true philosophy includes, that by being on a team you learn not only the sport, but more importantly life skills that you can carry with you forever. Her success is seen through her on court success, and her off-court positive impact is realized through each of her players’ lives. Carrie was nominated by the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2017 Coach of the Year and won the National Jr. NBA Coach of the Year.

    Kash Cannon

    Growing up in inner city Providence, Kash Cannon used the game of basketball to overcome personal adversity and become the first person in her family to go to college. After a standout career at Northeastern University, Kash chose to pay-it-forward and give back to other girls from her community by providing them the same opportunities she was given through the power of sport. As the Program Director at G3 (Getting Girls in the Game), Kash delivers a youth basketball curriculum that focuses on health and wellness, goal setting and female empowerment. Kash’s program includes a mentoring partnership with female Boston Police officers, college readiness activities, hands-on cooking classes, tutoring from local college athletes and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Open to all Boston inner city girls, Kash also builds relationships with the mothers of her girls, leveraging the whole family unit when trying to increase healthy outcomes. Kash was nominated by the Boston Celtics for the 2018 Coach of the Year and won the National Jr. NBA Coach of the Year.

    Jason Collins

    Jason Collins is a Stanford University graduate and 13-year veteran of the NBA who played for New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston, Washington, and Brooklyn and who went to two NBA Finals. Off the court, he was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame and serves as an NBA Cares Ambassador, furthering the league’s efforts to address social issues. Collins made history after the 2012-13 season, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to come out as gay.

    Keela Dorue

    Coach Keela Doerue is a 7th-grade math teacher who spends her spare time coaching and running an organization made up of 10 teams and growing. This organization, Phoenix Basketball, has the vision to spread the love of basketball and have children progress in skill and gain knowledge of the game while building relationships and families off the court.

    Jason Curry

    Jason is in his 20th year as president of Big Apple Basketball (BAB). He’s responsible for all aspects of its daily operations, including running its basketball training, high school showcases, scholarship games, mentoring programs, academic seminars, consultation and referral services, along with other community events focused on helping student-athletes and families. Jason graduated from St. Michael’s College with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He was a four-year starter on the men’s basketball team and inducted into the St. Michael’s College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. Last spring, he was inducted into the Cheshire Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2019, Curry was recognized as the Junior Knicks Coach of the Year, and named the National Jr. NBA Coach of the Year.

    Taylor Jenkins

    Taylor Jenkins is the Head Coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to his time in Memphis, Coach Jenkins was an Assistant Coach for the Milwaukee Bucks (2018-2019) and Atlanta Hawks (2013-2018). Coach Jenkins helped the Bucks to a 60-22 regular season record and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals and helped lead the Hawks to four NBA Playoffs and an Eastern Conference Finals appearance (2014-2015). Prior to becoming an Assistant Coach in the NBA, Coach Jenkins was the Head Coach of the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League for the 2012-2013 season. As the Head Coach, Jenkins led the Toros to the NBA D-League Playoffs. Coach Jenkins was also an Assistant Coach for the Austin Toros (2008-2012). Taylor Jenkins was born in Dallas, Texas and attended St. Mark’s School of Texas and later attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Jenkins graduated, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics while concentrating in Management and minoring in Psychology. Coach Jenkins and his wife, Chantall, have four children.

    Taj McWilliams-Franklin

    Taj McWilliams-Franklin is a former American professional women’s basketball player. A two-time WNBA champion with the Detroit Shock and Minnesota Lynx and six-time all-star, McWilliams-Franklin’s professional career has spanned three decades, and began before the WNBA was founded. She retired from the WNBA after the 2012 season and is now the Player Relations and Development Manager at the WNBA.

    Jason Sacks

    Jason Sacks is PCA’s Chief Development Officer, co-leading the organization and overseeing all fundraising activities, as well as PCA’s partnerships with professional sports leagues, national governing bodies and national youth sports organizations. Prior to joining PCA, Jason worked in the Basketball Operations Department for the New York Knicks during the 2005-06 season. He served as an assistant coach for the Men’s Basketball Team at New York University, while completing his Masters Degree in Sports Management. His other previous coaching stops include Egg Harbor Township High School (NJ) and Perspectives Charter High School (Chicago). With an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, Jason now serves as an adjunct instructor for Northwestern University’s Masters of Sports Administration Program.

    Christina Wellendorf

    Coach Christina Wellendorf is an English teacher by day, basketball coach by afternoon and evening, and master’s counseling student at night at John C. Fremont PDMS & Academy of Medical Sciences. She has coached for six years and taught for nine years. She is a mentor to her peers and current and former students and players, assisting them with filling out applications, writing letters to colleges, and supporting families during loss the loss of a loved one with food.