ASA Hoops

Our Coaches

Brendan Smith

Owner and President

Coaching certifications with MIAA NFHS PCA

Brendan Smith is the Owner and Director of A Step Ahead Incorporated (ASA). As Director of ASA Smith overseas all basketball operations including: summer camps boys / girls AAU teams, school vacation clinics and weekly skills classes. In addition to his duties at ASA, Smith had served boys’ varsity basketball coach at Boston Latin School since the 2006-07 season (stepped down August 2021). During his tenure, Smith has lead the Wolfpack to three DCL Championships, and seven tournament births. Smith has previously coached men’s college basketball at Mt. Ida College, and high school basketball at Newton North High School. Most recently, Smith successfully completed the requirements to become a MIAA/MSSAA certified coach. In 2010 Smith passed both the written and floor exams of referee school to join the referee fraternity and became a member of Board 27. He earned his undergraduate degree in Human Performance & Fitness at Umass Boston and received his Masters of Education degree from Cambridge College.

George Moses

Co-Director Camps

George Moses, is a Director with A Step Ahead and has responsibilities for: Corporate Operations, Boys and Girls AAU (Greater Boston and South), Nike Basketball/ASA Hoops Summer Camps and Player Training and Development (Including after school, holiday and specialty clinics). In addition to his role with ASA, Coach Moses serves as an Assistant Dean of Students within the Boston Public School, system giving him a unique perspective that we welcome here at ASA.  Coach Moses is following in his father’s footsteps by coaching his favorite sport, basketball, and as a Head Coach for several AAU teams, he has won tournaments but most importantly, developed player confidence, respect and responsibility, on and off the court. Moses thrives at mentoring and motivating young people and ASA is the perfect outlet for him to do both. In addition to his roles as a Director and educator, Moses is a fitness fanatic who is a Certified Group Exercise Instructor specializing in Spinning, functional training and kickboxing. ASA is happy to have George on board and looks forward to his contributions to enhance our product.

James Spinner

AAU Director and North Shore Camps Director

James Spinner is the Elementary Director and Camp Regional Director entering his 5th year with ASA Hoops. Coach Spinner has become a critical part of the coaching staff leading and directing camps and clinics. In addition to his Director role, summer and school vacation programming Spinner is our5th-7th grade Boys SELECT Coach. A former point guard for Newton South High School, James is a true student of the game. His passion for teaching coupled with his knowledge of basketball makes him a perfect fit for ASA. James holds an undergraduate degree from Framingham State in Criminology and has been work in behavioral management for over 2 years.

Jaimie Renner

ASA Girls Director

Jaimie Renner is the Director of the ASA Wildcats Girls Program, having worked with ASA Hoops since 2017. In addition to directing camps and clinics and leading the girls program, she coaches Wildcat teams in multiple age groups. She is passionate about fostering an environment where players can build skills, confidence, and a love of the game while striving for the level they want to reach. As a four-year starting point guard at Amherst College, Renner helped lead the team to a National Championship win in 2017 as well as consecutive Sweet 16 and Final 4 appearances in the years prior. She ranks in the top 5 all-time in both career assists and steals at Amherst. Prior to her collegiate career, she was a standout player at Newton North and Worcester Academy. Coach Renner has played basketball all of her life, and enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge of the game. In addition to coaching, Jaimie is a certified yoga instructor and works in marketing.

Daniel Kassner

Director: NH

Daniel Kassner is in his second year with ASA and currently serving as the Director of Clinics and Summer Camps in New Hampshire. During the school year, Daniel works as a history teacher at Tewksbury Memorial High School. Throughout his career as an educator, Daniel has consistently been a part of the athletics programs at the different schools he has worked at. He was an assistant coach for the varsity basketball team at a small private school outside of Chicago, IL, and upon moving back to New England, worked as an assistant coach for the Rising Tide Herons in Plymouth, MA. Daniel has a vast amount of experience working with young people and considers coaching basketball to be one of his true passions alongside his work as a teacher. He brings an enormous amount of energy and passion to his coaching style, and is enthusiastic about teaching the game to players at all levels. Daniel hopes to continue to grow with the ASA program in New Hampshire and build a supportive and cooperative basketball environment in the Granite State.

Chris Foley

ASA West Director

A graduate of Tabor Academy and the University of Hartford where he played 4 years for the Hawks, Chris has been a high school coach in the area for over 25 years. Chris currently is the boys head Varsity coach at Monty Tech (MT) in Fitchburg where he has been coaching for the past 12 years.  After a successful 2020 – 21 season Foley was named the MIAA Coach of the year “Central Region”.  Prior to MT he coached at Quabbin Regional, in Barre MA, St Mary’s High School, and St Peter Marian High School both located in Worcester. Chris was also an assistant coach (2017) in the inaugural season of the Worcester 78er’s, an ABA professional team, located in Worcester. Chris has coached many years in AAU and worked numerous camps throughout the area.

Anthony Swain

AAU Coach

ASA Hoops is very excited to add yet another enthusiastic teacher of the game. Anthony Swain a Newton native played four years at Newton South while serving as Captain his senior year. Upon graduation he moved on to play 2 years at Massbay Junior College where he also served as Captain. He has Coached at Newton South and Is currently coaching at Gann Academy in Waltham.

Felipe Freitas

Camp / Clinic Staff - AAU Coach

Felipe is Brazilian and made his career as an athlete in his native country. He played basketball from 13 to 20 years old at Minas Tênis Clube in Brazil where he had the honor of sharing the basketball court with athletes who are currently in the NBA. At the age of 22, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and began working as a basketball coach at the same club in which he played. In six seasons the teams he coached were five times state champions (U16 and U17), once runner-up in the national championship (U16) and once South American interclub champion (U16). In addition, he had the opportunity to help in the development of young athletes who are now part of the Brazilian National Team.

“I am very happy to be here in the USA, the country with the best basketball in the world. I want to continue helping young athletes to develop on and off the courts. Being here is a very exciting new phase in my life, I want to make the most of it and keep improving each day.”

Jamie Gallagher

Camp Director - AAU Coach

Jamie joined ASA in the summer of 2018 working summer. He started coaching basketball in 1999 as an assistant coach at Proctor Academy helping the Hornets advance to the NEPSAC Final Four. He moved on to the Holderness School as the head coach in the 2000 season. Holderness won back to back NEPSAC championships in 2004 and 2005. While at Holderness his former players went on to play basketball at the following schools: Sacred Heart, Bates, Marist, Hofstra, Duke, Harvard, Syracuse, and Wesleyan. Coach Gallagher moved on to the Middlesex School in Concord, MA in 2007. Middlesex also advanced to the NEPSAC Final Four in 2009. Some of the former players from Middlesex went on to play at Vanderbilt, Wesleyan, Trinity, and Oberlin. After the birth of his second son Coach Gallagher took a step back and has been an assistant coach at Noble & Greenough in Dedham for the girls’ team. Jamie is leader in the youth basketball community and ASA – Nike Camps are excited to have him.

Akeem Jean Pierre

Middle School Assistant Director

Akeem Jean-Pierre is a very energetic coach with a great passion for the game of basketball. Akeem Jean-Pierre a Roxbury native played high school basketball at City on a Hill. Upon graduation he went on to play at Dean College for 2 years and he also was Captain

Kyle Westberg

Kyle Westberg is in his third year with the ASA program. He is an experienced coach as well as educator.  In August of 2021 named Head Varsity coach for Milton High school girls. Currently a middle school teacher in Boston Public.  Previously – He has been the boys JV head coach for Hamilton Wenham High School as well as varsity assistant for the past 6 years. Coupled with that, he has also been assistant football coach with the Revere High School football team. All in all, he has contributed to 7 league titles, multiple state tournament victories, and coached numerous players who have gone on to college athletics. Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in history along with masters degrees in both education and school counseling from UMass Amherst.

Tom Kahana

Coach Kahana was born and raised in the Boston area, and played collegiate basketball at Suffolk University. In his post collegiate career, Tom spent a lot of time coaching at various summer basketball clinics throughout the Boston area. Most recently, Tom has been coaching for Waltham Youth basketball for multiple grades.

Aside from coaching basketball, Tom is the VP, Business Operations at a Learning & Development consulting firm, leading the Operations teams, focused on Marketing, Finance, Operations & Sales. Additionally, he teaches Marketing courses at Bentley University.

Erik Williams

Erik has been committed to the game of basketball his entire life. After a successful, decorated and highly recruited high school career playing for Sacred Heart High School in Kingston, MA, Erik went on to play in the NESCAC at Bates College in Lewiston, ME. Erik is currently a Director with ASA Camps – Clinics, an AAU Coach, and the Director of college placement and recruiting. He is also the Assistant Coach at Fisher College and Head of the Developmental team there.  In previous years Erik has also coached at South Shore Massachusetts high schools: Whitman-Hanson Regional, Middleboro, and East Bridgewater

Ashley Gomes

Starting my 4th year with the ASA AAU program, where I’ve coached boys from 5th-8th grade. I coach basketball year-round between AAU, Nike camps, and the winter season. Currently the varsity girls assistant coach for Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Formerly the head JV coach there for 4 years. I have worked there going on 6 years, spending the last 3 as a Wellness teacher. I played for Randolph High, where I was a part of the program’s only league-champion team. I played 2 years in college at Eastern Connecticut State University. I’ve coached in South Africa and St. Lucia through a program called United Through Sport. My favorite pros are Candace Parker and LeBron James. I own over 400 pairs of shoes!

Anthony Choueiri

A basketball court is where I feel most at home, and it is the one place on Earth I can be free, all thoughts go away. I fulfilled all my dreams, starting varsity all four years in high school and then going off to play in college at UMass Boston. After graduating, I tore my ACL and meniscus playing for a professional team overseas. I didn’t let that stop me, I had graduated with a teaching degree, came home and I began teaching. My coaching career started under the tutelage of Brendan Smith, owner and CEO of A Step Ahead at Boston Latin School, the rest was history. Some find my obsession with basketball weird but here I am, I found my calling, and never looked back.

Kerry Robinson III

Kerry is a Roxbury Native, a former ASA select player, and one of the youngest coaches in the program with a strong love for the game. his energy and work ethic is amazing, pushing kids to become the best version of themselves on and off the court, and building relationships while still having fun for the game we all love. He is also obtaining a degree in Sports Leadership & Administration at UMass Boston while being an educator in Boston Public Schools.

Matt Cho

AAU Coach and Manager

Matt Cho is a Coach and Manager for ASA Hoops. He is a former ASA Select and Natick High School player who has been with the program for many years. Aside from coaching teams, he helps organize and lead our summer camps, skills sessions and clinics, and assists with administrative tasks for the program. Matt received his undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University in Health Sciences. With a deep passion for sports and a genuine desire to make a positive impact, Matt likes to help motivate and develop young athletes, fostering their growth both on and off the court. During his time at Stony Brook, Matt also assisted in running strength workouts for Men’s basketball, soccer, and lacrosse athletes, contributing to their physical development and overall performance.

Jordan Jackson

Coach and Marketing Assistant
Jordan Jackson is a Coach, Manager and Marketing assistant, bringing two years of commitment and expertise to the organization. As a former player with the organization he brings a strong passion for the game that has developed into a dedication to providing high-quality training and experiences when it comes camps, clinics, and skill development. Handling responsibilities such as coaching and directing summer camps, leading group skill sessions and clinics as Marketing tasks. Jordan received his bachelors degree in Marketing and Management from U-mass Dartmouth.

John Renner

ASA GIRLS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CAMP DIRECTOR, & COACH

John Renner is the Assistant Director of the ASA Wildcats Girls Program, having worked with ASA Hoops for many years. He has coached hundreds of youth basketball and sports teams, including many players who went on to become college athletes. He currently coaches Wildcat teams in multiple age groups as well as directing and co-directing camps and clinics. In addition to coaching and helping to lead the program, John is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. John spends his free time lifting weights, practicing yoga, and playing basketball. Outside the gym, he enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking.

Rachel Bonnanzio

ASA WILDCATS COACH

Rachel joined ASA for the spring 2023 season and is one of the sixth-grade girls’ coaches. She played at Keene State College, helping the team win their first ever conference championship and ultimately playing in the NCAA Women’s D3 tournament. Prior to moving to Boston, Rachel coached AAU for a program in Connecticut, mainly focusing on developing younger players grades 5th through 8th. She is a huge UConn Women’s basketball fan, is passionate about women’s sports and tries to instill that passion into her teams!

Andrew Macdonald

East Bridgewater Director

Andrew Macdonald, the current Boys Head Coach at East Bridgewater High School, brings a wealth of basketball expertise to the court. Having previously served as the Girls Head Coach at East Bridgewater from 2016 to 2020, he has cultivated a successful coaching career with a notable record of 84 wins and 47 losses. His leadership and strategic acumen have made a lasting impact on the teams he has guided.

Before transitioning into coaching, Andrew was a standout player, serving as Team Captain at DIII New England College. His collegiate leadership experience, coupled with his achievement as the All-time leading scorer at Whitman Hanson High School, underscores his deep-rooted connection to the sport. Andrew Macdonald’s journey from high school scoring records to collegiate leadership and, ultimately, successful coaching, solidifies his legacy as a influential figure in the basketball community.