Ambassadors

JUEL Ambassadors

Charles Kissi

A former player at McMaster University, Charles Kissi competed in four national championship tournaments with the Marauders. He was also the team’s 2003 recipient of the Liam Stevens Award, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of positive attitude, hard work and determination.

Charles previously coached with the Scarborough Blues club program, leading female squads to provincial and national tournaments.

Since than, Charles has become the head coach of the Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team and in his second year they finished fifth in the OUA East Division and made a semi-final appearance.

In 2013, Charles was the head coach of the TriCounty team that finished fifth in the league.

Charles was also selected as the first Toronto Raptors mentor coach, learning from Raptor’s head coach, Dwane Casey.

Now he is the head coach of the Brock men’s basketball team.

Watch Charles as the first Toronto Raptors mentor coach:

Aprille Dues

Aprille started playing basketball in the 5th grade with the Brampton Blue Devils. Later she joined the Sultan Prospects and then the Tri-County Thunder in the JUEL league, winning bronze in her last season.

She accepted a scholarship to Acadia University in Nova Scotia as a point guard and is currently studying Kinesiology and hopes to obtain her CSEP certifications as a certified strength and conditioning coach and exercise physiologist.

Aprille was also the recipient of the Toronto Raptors Coaching Mentorship with Coach Dwayne Casey and is a basketball coach at the Toronto Raptors Basketball Academy.

During her mentorship Aprille had the chance to spend a couple of days in October 2013 with the coaching and support staff, as well as the players during their training camp in Halifax. Dec 2013 Aprille spent an extensive 4 days with the team, and particularly with the coaches in the morning coaches meeting, pre-game meeting, half-time and post-game meetings.

She also works as an instructor and site coordinator for Point Guard College and has been appointed the lead correspondent for women’s basketball for North Pole Hoops.

This point guard has experience with Canada Basketball and will be working towards obtaining her higher levels of NCCP certifications. After her undergraduate degree, Aprille hopes to pursue a graduate assistant job with an NCAA institution while completing a Master’s Degree in Sports, Media and Entertainment Management, or Health Management. She also will pursue another degree in Radio and Television Production and/or diploma’s in animation and audio engineering.

Watch her Mentor Coaching experience with the Toronto Raptors here

Ray Darling (Guelph Ambassador)

Ray Darling is the Guelph Ambassador for the Tri County Thunder program. He played as a Guelph Gryphon from 1968 – 1991 and was the team capital for four years and was awarded team MVP in his final year. In 1990 he was an OUA gold medalist and CIS silver medalist both in 1990 and 1991. Following his post-secondary play he became the assistant men’s varsity coach in 1992.

He then went on to coach in the Hoops and Hustle Recreational program for 14 years. From 2007 to 2014 he coached rep basketball for the Guelph Phoenix and is NCCP, level 2, certified.

Steve VanLeeuwen (Branford Ambassador)

Steven Van Leeuwen competed at Brock University while he earned a degree in physical education, specializing in coaching, athletic therapy and anatomy.

Upon graduation he began as a high school boy’s basketball coach in St. Catharine’s, then Hamilton before he established himself in Brantford. In Branford he took his team to CWOSSA and OFSSAA finals. Since he undertook the Sr. Girls Basketball program at St. Johns in 2002, they have won 10 city championships, 8 CWOSSA championships, and finished first in OFSAA competition, alongside 3 silver OFSAA metals.

His OBA involvement began in 1990 with the Brantford CYO boys program. In 2003 & 2004 his novice boys finished 4th in the 1st division. In 2005, his major atom girls Brantford CYO team took gold in division 1 competition. Similarly, in 2010, the major atom girls took gold in the first division and his bantam girls team claimed gold again in 2011.

In 2004 Steven became the Elite Development Coach of the TriCounty BDP Girls Basketball program. In 2005 they claimed a gold metal in the Ontario Summer Games.

Steve has also been involved in the Olympia Sports Camp program, North Park basketball camp and Mark Waltons Super Camp in Hamilton.

He is certified in Level 1 and 2 Theory of Practical and Technical coaching.