HoopStrength Basketball Academy offers training to boys and girls with elite basketball coaches.

HoopStrength bring countless years of basketball playing and coaching experience. Our basketball coaches have played at an elite level and been recognized with numerous awards both as athletes and coaches.

Our basketball coaches provide customized programs to individuals and teams that are guaranteed to assist them in becoming elite basketball athletes.

Neil Nystrom

Neil Nystrom

Technical Director HoopStrength Basketball Academy

Neil Nystrom is the Founder and Technical Director of HoopStrength Basketball Academy. Neil has extensive basketball training both as an athlete and as a coach. He is currently the Head Coach for the Ambrose University Men’s Basketball Team. He was able to lead Ambrose to their first ACAL championship in 2014 where he was also awarded the coach of the year for the league. Neil was also given the coach of the year award for the 2015 season. Neil was awarded the ACAC coach of the year award twice as well, in 2018 and 2019. In 2020 Neil coached the Ambrose team to a silver medal in the ACAC championships.

Neil has also coached for different clubs within Calgary, including NSD (National Sports Development), Calgary Selects, and CBA (Calgary Basketball Association). Neil has coached at many camps and clinics including Crossover Sports Camps, Athletes In Action, and NBC Camps. Neil was a master teacher for NBC, coaching in Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and Alberta, and he has taken a Canadian tour team to the British Isles with NBC. Neil has also coached high school basketball for 6 years in Calgary.

Neil is also coaching for Basketball Alberta. He was the Jr. Academy Boys coach since 2018 and was able to lead the U16 boys team to a gold medal at the Western Canada Games. He has been named the U15 head coach and will help represent Team Alberta at the 2020 National Championships.

Neil is in the process of completing his Competitive Development certification through NCCP. He has also completed many ASAA coaching courses and Athletic Director courses.

Neil played basketball in College at Briercrest in the ACAC. He was captain of his team in his second year where he also received an academic all conference award. Neil played high school at E.P. Scarlett and was an all-star and team MVP in his senior year.

Cory Tanner

Cory Tanner

Women’s Technical Director

Cory is a dedicated and enthusiastic professional with more than ten years of experience. He has coached multiple basketball teams, most recently with the Centennial High School Jr girls team for 3 year, the ACAC men’s program at Ambrose University and of course HoopStrength. Cory strongly believes a team’s culture is the most important factor in its success and he has a passion for developing a love for the game in young players. This can be measured by the joy every player he has coached finds on the basketball court. Cory develops high character players who will always respect the game, their opponents, and most importantly their teammates. Cory is currently coaching the U13 girls orange team this year.

Nate Kravetsky

Nate Kravetsky

Men’s Technical Director

Nate has actively been coaching since 2002. He has coached all levels, from 4 - 11-year-olds in his own skills clinics up to college level athletes. Nate coached at High Park School in his hometown in Stony Plain, Wildwood school, Westminster as well as Terry Fox Jr High boys. He coached in club programs for the Stony Plain Rockets and The Teddies. He also coached high school boys and girls at Grand Trunk High School, Spruce Grove Composite, Ross Sheppard, Jasper Place, and Central Memorial High School. He has worked summer camps for Stony Plain Rockets and Hoopstrength. These past two years he has been working as an assistant coach of the Ambrose Men‘s basketball team who compete in the ACAC. Some highlights of Nate’s basketball career were taking his Evansburg Grand Trunk Women’s team to Provincials. He also was able to join the Ambrose Basketball team in 2019 for the second semester as an active player. He has been part of coaching club at HoopStrength since 2018 and is currently coaching the U13 boy’s orange team.

Shelley Fugel

Shelley Fugel

Club Coaching

Shelley enjoys sharing her love of sport and competitiveness.
With a background in health and fitness, Shelley started coaching U6 and U8 soccer before switching to basketball. Coaching basketball for 5 years, Shelley has experience coaching Bantam, Midget and Juvenile Girls Basketball at the community and club level. Most recently she was honoured to be chosen to participate as a coach in CMBA’s diamond league, for the top High School girls in Calgary.
Shelley has gained valuable coaches training from both NCCP Learn to train and other clinics and seminars.
Shelley loves working with female athletes; motivating and pushing them to transform the way they think and play the game while helping them grow confidence and creativity on the court. She is continually motivated and inspired by these young athletes, seeing the positive influence that she can make, by helping transform a “like” into a “love" of the game. Shelley is the head coach of the high school Jr. Lions team.

Chad Romanuk

Chad Romanuk

Club Coaching and Summer Camp Coach

Chad Romanuk played post-secondary basketball at Rocky Mountain College in the ACAL where he received honours as the team MVP, while leading his team to a silver medal. From there Chad attended Briercrest College and during his three seasons playing for the Briercrest Clippers, he twice received an ACAC Academic Athlete and CCAA Academic All-Canadian award. After graduating with his B.A. in Sports Ministry, Romanuk got involved with coaching various basketball camps, including Briercrest camps, NBC camps in B.C, Alberta and Saskatchewan, along with the Mano Watsa camp in Ontario, and even overseas in Haiti and Ireland. In 2008, Romanuk went back to Briercrest and took on an assistant coaching role with both the men’s and women’s basketball programs. He was an assistant there for 7 seasons before taking the head coaching job for the Women’s program for 3 years. Chad is currently the assistant coach for the Men’s basketball team at Ambrose University. Chad is the Head Coach of the High School Jr. Lions Team.

Todd Mohorich

Todd Mohorich

Club Coaching

Todd is an accomplished and focused coach with years of experience between U11 and High School athletes. He is NCCP FUNdamentals and Learn to Train Certified and also taken courses through the U of C on injury prevention. Todd played his High School basketball in Calgary at Central Memorial High School, winning (2) City Championships, and learning under the guidance of Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame member and former Olympian Romel Raffin. He has been coaching community basketball since 2015 and is on the Board of Directors for Bow River Basketball as the U15 Girls Coordinator. Todd works with Alberta Basketball and coached the U14 Boys Zone 3 team at the 2018 Alberta Summer Games, capturing a Silver Medal. He is scheduled to coach the same team in the 2020 Alberta Summer Games. Early in his career he was an assistant coach at Central Memorial High School, for both the Senior and Junior Boys teams, where he was part of Two (2) City Championship teams. Todd has been coaching with Hoopstrength since 2018, most recently coaching with the Girls Program.

Steven Fraser

Steven Fraser

Club Coaching

Coach Fraser grew his passion for the game of basketball in his hometown of Regina, SK. Currently working as a teacher, he sees all perspectives of the game through the lens of an educator alongside his experiences in basketball; player, referee, and coach. Steven’s playing experiences include: playing on provincial teams, University of Regina high school prep team; Jr. Cougars Club, and all of high school playing starting point guard as the captain of the Div 1 Winston Knoll Wolverines. Steven has also worked as a referee: officiating tournament finals, city finals, attending camps, and more. Currently, Steven officiates within Calgary for the CBOA. Some of his coaching experiences includes: lead trainer/academy coordinator/high school men’s club team head coach for basketball training academy, Xcite Athletics (located in Regina, SK), head coach of JV Basketball Div 1 teams for 3 seasons in Regina, and most recently, head coach of the Calgary Div 3 Junior Boys City Champion, Bowness Trojans. Coach Fraser has been part of HoopStrength since 2020 and currently coaches the U15 boys blue team at HoopStrength

Sean Brown

Sean Brown

Club Coaching

Sean was an assistant coach with us in 2019 and he did a marvellous job! He loves the game of basketball, where it is going, and how fast it is growing. When speaking with Sean, his knowledge and his passion for the game is quite evident. He played the game for a little more than twelve years, in his younger years he lived on the court and almost always had a ball in his hands. Sean believes that every coach’s number one focus should be making the game an absolute blast for every player they coach. This will be his fifth season coaching basketball, however he has been coaching teams in his professional life for more than 15 years. Sean is currently the Head Coach of our U11 Boys Orange Team

Howie McCollister

Howie McCollister

Club Coaching

Howie’s love for basketball started in early grade school and has never left. Howie played at an elite level and eventually ended his playing career with the University of Calgary Dinos. His transition from a player to coach started over 25 years ago by first coaching summer basketball camps, weekend clinics, community basketball, school basketball to then primarily coaching club basketball for the last 5 years. Howie loves working with kids and is motivated by how a team sport like basketball can have such a far reaching positive influence on these kids. He is interested in transformed lives and feels like basketball can be an incredible tool to that end.

Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson

Club Coaching

Katie Johnston has enjoyed basketball as a player as well as a coach. After highschool ball she went on to play in the ACAL league with Prairie College, where she received an All Conference award. Katie played her last season at Ambrose University and then went on to coach at Heritage Christian Academy in Calgary. She has coached 7 seasons with the girls junior high teams and 3 seasons with the girls senior high team. Katie is passionate about developing youth athletes, not only in their court skills, but also in their character and mindset. Katie is currently assistant coaching with the high school boys Jr. Lions team.

Michele Wellsby

Michele Wellsby

Club Coaching

Michele grew up in Chilliwack, BC, and played basketball on numerous club and school teams. While in Chilliwack she coached spring league and skills camps for 6- to 12-year-old girls. Most recently Michele coached at the Applesauce Basketball Academy, a skill development program for 4- to 11-year-olds. Michele likes to keep active and she still plays basketball in the Calgary women’s league. Michele is passionate about working with youth and families. She completed a PhD from the University of Calgary with a focus on child development, and she currently works in the Research Department at a children’s mental health organization. She strives to foster a life-long love of basketball in those she coaches. Michele started coaching with HoopStrength in 2020 and currently coaches the U13 girls blue team.

Alex Simon

Alex Simon

Club Coaching

Alex starting coaching with the Ernest Manning High School Girls program five years ago when he moved to Calgary from Nova Scotia. He has had the pleasure of coaching both the Junior and Senior teams at the school. Alex has gained valuable experience from various coaching and shooting clinics held in Calgary. Alex loves watching athletes grow over the years that he works with them and gets the greatest joy out of when they move on to give back and become coaches and mentors. Alex started coaching with HoopStrength in 2020 and currently coaches the High School girls orange team.

David Yang

David Yang

Club Coaching

Dave grew up in Calgary and was part of many different sports teams throughout junior high and high school. He graduate from Canadian Bible College and has worked as a pastor and now at Glenmore Christian Academy as the Pastor of Spiritual Formation. He has coached junior high boys for many years and has been an assistant coach at Ambrose University for over 7 years. David has been part of HoopStrength since 2016 and has specialized in the developmental age groups. Dave is currently coaching the U13 boys blue team this year.

Jordan Schmidt

Jordan Schmidt

Personal and Team Trainer

Jordan Schmidt is a certified personal trainer through the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP) since 2007, as well as a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSA). She holds a BSc in Exercise Physiology, a Masters of Teaching in Physical Education and has been working with basketball players for over 10 years, ranging from junior high to collegiate athletes. She is currently the Strength and Conditioning Coach for men’s basketball program at Ambrose University.

Makenna Mendes

Makenna Mendes

Club Coaching

Makenna is currently in her second year at Ambrose university in the Behavioural
Health Sciences program. Makenna has the opportunity to play both post-secondary
basketball and soccer at Ambrose. Makenna has been a part of community and school teams since a young age, having the opportunity to play on numerous club basketball teams and participating in the International Children’s Games in 2012. She has been thoroughly enjoying her time spent coaching at Menno Simons Christian school in various sports for the past five years. Growing up as a multisport athlete, she has also played, coached and refereed volleyball and has helped out with young track and field athletes as well. Makenna has been coaching at Hoop Strength since 2019 through weekly skills clinics and the club program. Makenna is currently coaching the U11 girls club team.

Kyler Shula

Kyler Shula

Skllls Training and Club Coaching

Basketball has been an important part of Kyler’s life. From Washington, Kyler played 2 years at Junior College, then moved on to play for 1 season at Portland State, a Div 1 College. Kyler played his last 2 seasons at Ambrose University where he was an All-Conference athlete both seasons and CCAA All-Canadian. Kyler is transitioning into a Skills Coach and has a passion for improving individual skills. He has been an assistant coach at Ambrose University and Wayland Baptist University is Texas. Kyler is a great asset to the HoopStrength coaching team and offers a lot of expertise.

Darren Nystrom

Darren Nystrom

Club Coach

Darren specializes in individual and team consulting for HoopStrength. Darren was the assistant coach for the Ambrose University gold medal winning team in 2014. Darren has extensive basketball experience, playing for Briercrest in the ACAC for 4 years. Darren was captain of the team and was awarded ACAC Academic All-Canadian as well as ACAC First Team All-Conference. Darren has also travelled extensively playing basketball internationally throughout the USA, Central America, British Isles, China, North Korea, and Taiwan. Darren excels at individual player evaluations and skill assessments for HoopStrength.

Grant Sylvester

Grant Sylvester

Post Development and Team Coaching

Grant is currently the assistant coach for the Ambrose University Lions. Grant has coached for 13 years at the high school level in Calgary both in the community, school, and club system. Grant played high school basketball in Toronto and was a Metro-Toronto Allstar. Grant played 4 years at the CCAA level and was twice awarded the All Canadian Award. Grant also has experience running and coaching summer basketball camps. Grant specializes in post-development and team coaching for HoopStrength.