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Mike is an ex-pat American who first came to Australia to play for the Perth Wildcats in the NBL. Prior to his NBL days, Mike played in eight different countries following a successful US college career, during which he ran basketball camps alongside Michael Jordan. Mike has since retired from playing professionally and now focuses his attention on working with children through his work with Helping Hoops as well as his own school holiday programs and motivational speaking.
Mike’s knowledge of the game is only matched by his charisma and instant report he is able to create with both children and parents alike. Mike has the unique ability to tailor his coaching to relate to children of all ages and backgrounds. As well as getting the best out of those he works with, most importantly, Mike makes Helping Hoops programs fun!
At over 205 centimetres tall, Omar is by far our tallest coach, but is a gentle giant. After completing his playing career with the University of Toledo in Ohio, Omar played professionally in Canada. Omar also has five years of US Navy experience which has instilled values such as discipline and hard work - values he emphasises in his Helping Hoops programs.
Along with his coaching responsibilities at Helping Hoops, Omar also currently works in the security industry and at a Kung Fu academy teaching fitness.
Head Coach of Helping Hoops Sporting Partners, the Melbourne Tigers, Chris has had a decorated basketball career that has seen him travel the world despite picking up the sport at the late age of 17. As well as playing at the highest level in the NBA for both the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls, Chris has represented Australia at two Olympics and is a World Champion at junior level.
Chris has played for various teams in the NBL, where he is a two-time MVP winner and three-time NBL Champion. Two of these championships were with the Melbourne Tigers, where he is now seeking his first championship as Head Coach.
Chris’ passion for helping children saw him found TLC Mentoring, which helps participants realise their potential on and off the court. TLC and Helping Hoops are set to launch a new program in 2014 that will benefit young people from a refugee and migrant background.
At 7-foot (213 centimetres) tall, his height is not the only reason Helping Hoops kids look up to him, and we are proud to have him on board.
Watch Chris hoop it up with our kids in our TV commercial below:
Born in New Jersey before moving to San Diego, Lance is a former NBL All Star and Slam Dunk Competition finalist who is currently in the NBA Development League, where he is looking to realise his dream of making it to the NBA. Prior to his professional career, Lance played for the renown University of Miami, where he helped the Hurricanes make it to the NCAA Tournament as a Junior.
Lance has spent time getting to know the children at various Helping Hoops programs, where his love of the game and genuine, humble, and caring nature has made him a popular guest amongst participants and staff alike.
We are proud to have Lance join Helping Hoops as an ambassador. We wish him well as he pursues his dream and puts in the hard work that makes him the great role model he is to our kids.
Let's meet Lance:
Tegan is a WNBL championship winning professional basketballer currently playing for the Logan Thunder. Tegan has played for the Dandenong Rangers and Adelaide Lightning, where she won the “best team person” award while averaging over 10 points per game.
Previous to her WNBL career, Tegan played in America at Oklahoma State University, compiling a college career which included 68 double figure-scoring games and recorded a double-double in 28 games. As a sophomore, Tegan was named first team All-American.
Tegan has worked closely with Helping Hoops, including heading up her own weekly program for children with an intellectual disability and representing Helping Hoops in the community through school visits and events. When we made the decision to create the Helping Hoops Ambassadors initiative, Tegan was the logical choice to approach as our first ambassador, and we are extremely excited to have her on board.
Let's meet Tegan:
Rebecca works as a Project Manager for the Department of Business and Innovation and comes to us with extensive experience within the sport and event industries, including working as National Events Manager for Golf Australia and Program Coordinator for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Rebecca has completed a Bachelor of Arts – Sports Administration/Business Management. Rebecca saw an opportunity to lend her skills and experience to an organisation like Helping Hoops, which brings positive outcomes not just for the participants, but also for their families and the greater community.
In 12 months time, Rebecca would like to see Helping Hoops continuing to implement new programs and social outcomes, with solid commercial support behind the organisation.
Tristan started in 2011 as a volunteer with Helping Hoops in an assistance coaching role at both the After School West and After School North programs. Tristan now serves on the committee and helps out with all things technology, process and strategy. Although he has spent most of his on-court life as a player, Tristan has also has experience as a junior-level coach and referee. He no longer referees but Tristan can still be found running up and down the court as a point guard in the senior men's competition of the Hawthorn Basketball Association or in a pickup game at MSAC on weekends.
Tristan holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Economics from Victoria University. Selected to participate in extensive international exchange programs, Tristan has lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, studying economics, business, language and history - and playing pickup basketball games in each city. In 2008, Tristan was selected to participate in the Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP). Tristan now works as a freelance strategy, digital technology and marketing consultant.
Adam holds a BA, Diploma of Languages and Graduate Diploma of Education. Prior to founding Helping Hoops, Adam owned and managed SMEs in the design and advertising industry. Adam's passion for positively impacting the lives of children has seen him work and volunteer as a teacher and coach both here and abroad.
Adam's personal achievements include being selected as a torch bearer for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, receiving a scholarship to study overseas in Japan as an undergraduate student, and being selected to represent Australia as a junior athlete.
Aside from his family, Adam rates Helping Hoops as his greatest achievement to date.
Sas is a qualified accountant with more than 25 years’ experience in senior finance roles across Telecommunications, Financial services, IT & Engineering sectors. He has worked with Telstra, as GM of Finance & IT for a SME and is currently working on a large multinational construction project. Sas joined Helping Hoops as Board Member and Tresurer in February 2012, primarily responsible for the preparation of accounts and developing appropriate Reporting and Controls. Having been a member of Senior Management Teams, and served as a company secretary, he brings expertise and knowledge in corporate governance.
Sas has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Monash University and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.
David was born in the Netherlands and came to Australia in 1991. He is a marketing manager with a global software company, and a lifelong basketball enthusiast. As a marketer, his experience lies in building strong brands, commercialising new products and services, digital marketing and social media. Before his current role, David spent seven years helping small and medium businesses build their brands and their sales and marketing capability.
He writes a marketing blog called "Business of Marketing and Branding" (www.mokummarketing.com/blog) and has contributed to a series of collaborative books, "The Age of Conversation" (ageofconversation.com).
David has a Graduate Diploma in Marketing from Swinburne University in Melbourne, and at 6'7" he is one of the few who can look our coaches in the eye.