Coaches & Staff
Coaches & Staff
Coach Mergin Sina – is the Heat Elite AAU Director. He has been with Hoop Heaven for over ten years and has coached or mentored numerous players who went on to play in college. His AAU teams have a national reputation and play in mainly elite level events. He is also the Head Varsity Boys Coach at perennial top 20 ranked HS, Gill St. Bernards.
John Slackman – is the AAU Director and manager her at Hoop Heaven. He has been coaching has been coaching High School Basketball for over 6 years and has been a head coach for the last 3 years. He is currently the head girls’ basketball coach at Pope John High School. He played high school basketball at the powerhouse, Oratory Prep and on the collegiate level at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. He also received his Masters in Sports Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has been inducted in the Hoop Heaven Hall of Fame.
Alison Litzky is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with degrees in Sports, Entertainment & Event Management and Facilities Management. She played 4 years varsity basketball at Wayne Hills High School. Presently, Alison is Assistant Manager at Hoop Heaven and coaches several youth basketball teams including AAU. In addition to coaching, Alison provides private basketball training for all ages.
Cody Curatolo – Assistant Manager, Coach and Personal Basketball Trainer. He played basketball at Jefferson High School, and AAU with the Hoop Heaven Heat as well as the NJ Panthers. As basketball trainer, he continues to aid all individual players reach their ultimate goals, whether it is making their travel team, high school team or eventually playing collegiate basketball.
Kyle Just – is currently in his third season as a varsity assistant coach at Gill St. Bernard’s. He’s also been an assistant at St. Benedict’s Prep, Morris Catholic, and Parsippany High School. He has been coaching at Hoop Heaven for the past five years year round. He coaches both Elite and regular AAU teams at top area events.
Rocco Carnevale played multiple positions at West Essex High School. He has been coaching AAU teams and house teams for 7 years at Hoop Heaven and won several championships. He runs many of Hoop Heaven’s clinics and offers private lessons.
Bill Maranz (Coach M) – is the Camp Director. He has coached both in college and professionally. He currently works with the Brooklyn Nets in addition to running basketball programs in the Essex County area. Coach M’s enthusiasm and creativity make Hoop Heaven Basketball Camps known throughout the state.
Jason Banzhaf is currently in his 3rd year of coaching House and AAU teams at Hoop Heaven. He does private lessons and instructional clinics. Jason played college basketball at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Coach Jason is third all-time in Catholic University Men’s basketball history in both points and rebounds.
Sandeep Suresh has worked at Hoop Heaven for the last 6 years. He played basketball at Parsippany High School.
Brett Coleman has been coaching at Hoop Heaven for the last 5 seasons in both for AAU and house teams. Brett is from Livingston, is the oldest of 4 brothers and recently graduated from Montclair state university with a teaching degree in physical education and health.
Brandon Danzy attended Morris Knolls High School, graduated in 2008. Played football and basketball, then went on to play basketball at CCM. He has been coaching for 6 years and coaches kids from 5th to High School. He just started at Hoop Heaven in fall 2014.
Mike Tierney- is going into his third year coaching AAU teams at Hoop Heaven. He was a two year varsity player at West Essex High School. He comes from a family of coaches. His father was the long term Boys Varsity coach at West Essex. He is also an IAABO ref.
Tony Pujol – is one of our newest Elite AAU coaches. He was recently a top Assistant Men’s Coach at the University of Alabama before returning to NJ to spend more time with his family. He also offers private lessons and works with some are top HS players in their development.
Ian was a standout at Pace University and has coached AAU at Hoop Heaven for the past six years,
Currently the AAU Director and Manager of Hoop Heaven Bridgewater. Played HS basketball at Parsippany and than went on to play college basketball at Susquehanna University. Over 25 years experience of coaching HS basketball. A former Morris County Star Ledger “Coach of the Year” and has coached and trained numerous collegiate players.
Joe has spent the last four years on the sidelines of the Pequannock Girls Basketball program as the JV & Assistant Varsity coach where he helped win the North 1 Group 2 State Sectional Title his first year on staff. Before joining the Lady Panthers, Joe served as the JV coach at DePaul Catholic High School for 4 seasons and was later named Head Coach at Mary Help of Christians Academy. Currently in his second season at Hoop Heaven, Joe runs camps, clinics and private shooting instruction for girls and boys of all ages. Over the last 10 years he has coached in several other AAU, CYO, and Travel programs in Northern NJ. Joe has also worked as a team coach and site manager for Player’s Choice Women’s College Evaluation Showcases.
Paolo is an Assistant Varsity coach at Dumont HS where he was once a former standout following a 3-year collegiate career. Coach Paolo is now entering his 5th season as an AAU coach at Hoop Heaven.
Kyle Sabella was an All-County basketball and soccer player at Morris Catholic High School and a former college player at FDU-Madison. He has been coaching Boys High School basketball for 15 years as a top assistant coach at Morris Catholic High School, Elmwood Park High School & Dumont High School. He is currently entering his second year as the Head Boys Varsity Coach at Fair Lawn High School. Kyle has been coaching at Hoop Heaven since 2001 and took over as Manager of the Waldwick facility in 2008 where he also serves as the AAU and Camp Director.
Atom Johnston has spent the last 6 years as the Boys’ Assistant Varsity Coach at Westwood High School, in addition to coaching both the Freshman and JV basketball teams where he helped lead Westwood’s Varsity to the North 1 Group 2 State Sectional Final twice as well as qualifying for the Bergen County Tournament for his respective teams in each of his 6 seasons. Prior to this, Atom has held the positions of JV coach at Clifton High School, and Head Coach for both Clifton and Westwood’s middle school teams. Atom is in his first season at Hoop Heaven, but previously ran his own AAU team for 7 years called Team G which was based first out of Clifton, and then out of Westwood. He has privately trained players of all ages, ranging from elementary school to college players from all over North Jersey for 15 years.
Former Boys Head Varsity Coach at Old Bridge High School.
Former Boys Assistant Varsity Coach at Dumont High School.
Bryan McCourt is a former all league player at West Milford High School and is now entering his 5th season as a boys assistant coach at Fair Lawn High School. He is now entering his second season as an AAU coach at Hoop Heaven.
Former Boys Head Varsity Coach Dumont High School.
Coach Q was two sport athlete at Dean College. He has been coaching AAU for 6 years at HH. Multiple players he has coached has gone on to play college basketball. His teams are known to be fundamentally sound and always outworking the other teams.
Steve Herget is returning for his second year at Hoop Heaven. He teaches at Elmwood Park High School/Middle School and also serves as the schools assistant varsity boys basketball coach.
Joe Colombo has spent the last four years on the sidelines of the Pequannock Girls Basketball program as the JV & Assistant Varsity coach where he helped win the North 1 Group 2 State Sectional Title his first year on staff. Before joining the Lady Panthers, Joe served as the JV coach at DePaul Catholic High School for 4 seasons and was later named Head Coach at Mary Help of Christians Academy. Currently in his second season at Hoop Heaven, Joe runs camps, clinics and private shooting instruction for girls and boys of all ages. Over the last 10 years he has coached in several other AAU, CYO, and Travel programs in Northern NJ. Joe has also worked as a team coach and site manager for Player’s Choice Women’s College Evaluation Showcases.
Tiara had an outstanding career at College of NJ and has coached AAU for the past seven years. Tiara also played professionally for the Harlem Ambassadors
Matt is a recent graduate from Rutgers university with a degree in Human Resources. He was a dual athlete at Watchung Hills playing basketball and lacrosse. He also played a few AAU seasons for the Hawks.
Fedak played at Middlesex HS and currently is a Rutgers University student pursuing a degree in Health Administration. This is coach Fee’s second year coaching AAU at Hoop Heaven
Ryan was a 3 year varsity starter at Bridgewater HS and has coached AAU for the past four years.
BJ attended Bridgewater-Raritan High School and was the 2002 Somerset
County “Player of the Year.” He continued his playing career at Kean University where he scored over 1000 points and was an All-conference player. BJ is a former Varsity Head Boys Coach at Parsippany High School. He currently holds a BA in Health and Physical Education and is pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership.