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

ASA Select Coach

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 has worked with ASA Hoops since 2017, and is currently a Director of the ASA Wildcats Girls Program. In addition to directing camps and clinics and helping to lead the program, she coaches Wildcat teams in multiple age groups. As a four-year starting point guard at Amherst College, Renner helped lead the team to a National Championship 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 as a Marketing Manager at an agency in Boston.

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.

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.

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.

Eric Adams

Tournament Supervisor

Eric Adams, has served as the Operations Manager for the Dana Barros Basketball Camp for 15 years. He’s a graduate of Mount Ida College Coach Adams comes with numerous coaching experiences. Prior to his current position as Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Emmanuel College, Coach Adams was Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Mt. Ida College, The Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Regis College and Assistant Boys Basketball Coach at Canton and Xaverian Brothers High School. Coach Adams is currently the Asstistant/Head JV Girls Coach at Randolph High School. He is the founder and director of the New England Breakaway Basketball Camp and has been affiliated with the Bay State Summer Games for over 10 years. He recently guided the Southeast Girls’ Scholastic Team to a Gold Medal Championship.

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 collegeplacement and recruiting.  In previous years Erik has also coached at South Shore Massachusettshigh schools: Whitman-Hanson Regional, Middleboro and East Bridgewater

Elizabeth Gilmore

Co-Director Camps

Former point guard at Dartmouth College, Gilmore was named Ivy League Player of the Year and led Dartmouth to the 1993-94 and 1994-95 Ivy Championships along with an NCAA Tournament bid. She led the Big Green in assists and steals and ranks first all-time in career steals per game and season as well as second in all-time career assists. After her collegiate career Gilmore played semi-pro ball in Germany. She is currently teaching physical education in Weymouth and spends summers coaching basketball at various camps.

Eric Brickley

VP of AAU Operations

Coaching certifications with MIAA NFHS PCA.

Eric Brickley has many roles within the ASA program. He is the, VP of AAU Operations, Clinician at many of ASA’s holiday clinics, and AAU coach. In his first two years coaching in the AAU program he has led his teams to Final Four births in the Div 2 State Tournaments, earning him National Coach Honors. Outside of ASA he is an assistant scout at Boston Latin School and a coach in the youth Metro-West town travel league out of Milford, MA. He is also a certified High School referee with IAABO Board 208. Eric graduated UNH class of 95 with a BA in Psychology.

Lara Tcherkezian

ASA Wildcats Lead Coach

Lara Tcherkezian has been involved with the Wildcat program since she was in 6th grade. After graduating from Belmont High School, Lara attended the University of Connecticut where she received her degree in Secondary Education. Lara is currently the coach of the ASA Wildcats 14U and 15U teams as well as the Assistant Director for ASA Wildcats Greater Boston. In addition to AAU, Lara is the JV head coach and Varsity assistant at Norfolk County Agricultural High School.