Our trainers and coaches have heart. They care deeply about your kids’ development in the game of basketball. And it shows in how our players improve week after week.
BRIAN SACKS | FOUNDER AND CHIEF JUMPER
Jump Athletic founder and Chief Jumper Brian Sacks is no stranger to youth sports. He started playing competitive youth sports at the age of 7 in Long Island, NY traveling across the country to different cities playing competitive soccer. The team of kids played together for four years and won an incredible 80% of its games over that span of time. Sacks also played youth basketball in competitive club leagues and tournaments in NY and attended some of the top basketball camps in the east coast. He continued to develop in many different sports as he entered his high school years playing varsity basketball, soccer and tennis.
Given his enthusiasm for sports on the court and field, it’s no surprise that the love of the game translated off the playing field too. Sacks dabbled in sports radio on the former local ESPN Affiliate 860 AM with a radio show called Sports Junkies. As well, his passion for basketball in particular, led Sacks to coach competitive youth basketball and start what is now the premier youth basketball training academy and club in Arizona. A proven entrepreneur with a knack for launching companies, he started bizAZ magazine in 1997. After growing it into the most respected business magazine in Arizona he sold it to Gannett Co. in 2005. Sacks went on to start bizSanDiego, a magazine and online brand for the greater San Diego area in 2006. He is married to Kathy Sacks who leads marketing for Jump. They have a little Jumper, Juliana.
DACEN WRIGHT | HEAD TRAINER AND SENIOR COACH
Head Coach and Trainer, Dacen Wright, thrives on a desire to see each and every player reach their full potential. Born and raised in Arizona, he played high school basketball locally and traveled nationally with several club teams. He has coached basketball from elementary through high school level for over 5 years. His true passion is teaching and coaching the game, as well as instilling confidence in players and teams alike. Dacen’s unique approach is to inspire kids with his competitive energy and intensity and use positive encouragement to get the best out of everyone he coaches.
Dacen has had the privilege of coaching and training with Jump Athletic for over two years. One of the first responsibilities he took on was the 4th grade boys team. Over a two year span, he took them from a losing season to being one of the best teams in the state of Arizona, taking first place in top level tournaments around the southwest. His ultimate goal is to develop confident, skilled athletes and produce highly competitive teams.
RICKY PEREZ | GIRL’S PROGRAM SENIOR COACH
Coach Ricky Perez has led several teams to numerous tournament championships both in Texas and New Mexico & Arizona to include competitive youth basketball tournaments such as Battle at the Border, Southwest Shootout, and several city championships. Perez coached club basketball in El Paso, Texas from 2002-2012 before moving his family to Arizona. Ricky’s teams have competed in AAU Superregionals, BCI Nationals and NCAA certified events around the country. On a team that Perez coached in El Paso, The Wolverine’s 7 of his 8 players signed college scholarships to play basketball.
Perez has five daughters who he coaches and trains. His two oldest girls received college scholarships to play at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio and Eastern Wyoming in Torrington, Wyoming. Two of his other daughters are considered top players in their age group. In addition to coaching several girl’s teams for Jump Athletic Perez is the JV girls coach for Casa Grande high school.
DEANDRE WRIGHT | TRAINER AND COACH
Following in the steps of his older brother, Coach Dacen, Deandre is the embodiment of enthusiasm for basketball. Playing competitively since he was four, Deandre has excelled at many levels of the game. Deandre played club ball with Jump Athletic for over 5 years, and played for Shadow Mountain High School under the tutelage of Mike Bibby. He has traveled across the country playing with club and high school teams. Deandre is a life-long student of the game, and his energetic attitude and sense of humor endear him to kids of all ages.
In addition to coaching and training Deandre is an active advocate in the diabetic community. As an athlete living with diabetes, he has a dedicated interest in helping other athletes overcome their many challenges and excel in their sport. He is an Ambassador for the Arizona Diabetes Association, a camp counselor for camp AZDA and has volunteered with the ADA for numerous different causes/events.
In the true tradition of Jump’s core values, Deandre believes the greatest way for kids to achieve their aspirations in life and sports is through encouragement, inspiration and hard work. Practices, games and training with Coach Deandre are always exciting and productive as he teaches not only the intricacies of the game but inspires players to ‘go hard’ to attain their goals.
WILL LOFTON | TRAINER AND COACH
Coach Will Lofton is a strong-minded ambitious individual who desires to improve himself and his team in every way possible. He has an extensive background in health and physical education (120+ credit hours) as well as a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Northern Illinois University. Also, he brings with him 5 years of experience owning a personal training company. During this time he was able to work out with athletes at many different programs and skill levels and be recognized by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a “Sports Cardio Specialist”. He carries with him a genuine passion for human strength and development and he has dedicated his life to the health of his world.
Whether in a one-on-one situation or a team setting, Will is always able to bring the very best out of each athlete and drill. His continued learning in the arts of movement and the game of basketball make him both an effective and versatile part of the team. Living by the quote “the first day you make something an option is the last day its every a priority,” he brings both energy and experience to all that he comes into contact with, both on and off the court.
HANA ABDOUNI | TRAINER AND COACH
Coach Hana Abdouni has loved basketball from a young age. After moving to Arizona in 2005, she began playing basketball. During her senior year, Hana was one of 4 seniors who helped bring the Arizona State Championship home to Tempe Preparatory Academy. From there, Hana played basketball at Scottsdale Community College for 2 years.
Hana is currently a full-time student at Arizona State University working on a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science-Pre Medicine. Along with her studies, Hana is a mentor and fundraising chair of an ASU club, Undertake Natural Integration To Endorse Diversity (Us UNITED), whose aim is to help refugees in the valley become acclimated to living in Arizona. Hana speaks 4 languages and on her spare time enjoys cycling, hiking, and playing basketball, of course.
Hana believes that the best way for Jump Athletics athletes to shine on and off the court is through discipline, hard work, and commitment. Excited to be a basketball mentor, Hana hopes these athletes can incorporate the same development outside the court and into their future endeavors.
GAVIN BARTLETT | TRAINER AND COACH
Coach Gavin Bartlett currently plays guard for the Arizona Christian University Firestorm men’s basketball team, selected now for their fourth straight NAIA D1 national tournament. Bartlett is a native of Sacramento, CA, where he was a 3-sport varsity player and captain in basketball, soccer and volleyball. In basketball his senior year, he averaged 18ppg on 57% shooting (53% from three). He served as the assistant coach and team manager as well. He also taught basketball skills to kids at a basketball center in the Sacramento area and was featured in training videos with a Phenom Basketball principal.
Bartlett played soccer for 12 years and was selected for the WCDA (Western Collegiate Development Academy) Elite Soccer Club-Gold Team. Bartlett received many offers to play basketball at the collegiate level, and enjoys his decision to play for ACU.
Along with his busy schedule in sports, Bartlett works part time for ACU’s Athletics Department and Department of Campus Safety and maintains a 3.65 GPA, majoring in Business Administration. He has 4 siblings, two currently playing sports, including his 13-year-old brother who plays basketball and soccer. His sister is a high school junior and is a 2 sport star in volleyball and soccer.
Bartlett has a strong passion for basketball, youth and making a difference in life. He looks forward to translating that into his coaching endeavors.
MARK GAYLOR | TRAINER AND COACH
By day a successful business development consultant and sales trainer, Mark’s real passion is developing young athletes to achieve their goals through hard work, smart training and continuous improvement.
After a record-breaking high school career and an injury which kept him from playing at Ohio University, Mark went on to high-jump for the OU track team, referee college intramural basketball, and receive recognition for player development in coaching youth basketball. As a young adult Mark coached adult rec. basketball and played for over a decade in the the old La Mancha Athletic Club basketball league, frequented by many pro and D1 players. After another injury ended his basketball playing for good, Mark turned to inline speed skating, serving as President of the Predator Speed Skate & Cycle Club while coaching athletes ranging in age from 7 to 80 to become arguably the most competitive club west of the Mississippi. In recent years Mark’s focus has shifted back to youth sports, serving on the board of the Madison Little League and coaching youth baseball and basketball teams.
Mark’s big picture mindset and command of Xs and Os makes him a formidable asset on the sidelines, however his real passion is inspiring athletes to challenge themselves. Mark’s mission is to prepare his players to succeed in reaching their goals, in sports and in life.