Coach Cliff Thomason
Coach Cliff Thomason
In high school, Cliff Thomason was the starting point guard for Port Huron High School as a sophomore. During his career there, he earned 2 All Conference Honors, Voted Best Defensive Player, and earned the All-Time Assist Record, which he currently still holds after over 30 years. After high school in 1988, he received a full ride scholarship to Jordan College. There he earned All-Conference, and led in assists, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage. In 1990, he then earned another full ride scholarship to the University of Northern Colorado, and was their starting point guard.
From 1993 to 1999, Cliff Thomason was the assistant coach, under head coach Dale Vos, for St. Clair County Community College. He has over 20 years of coaching for youth leagues, and AAU leagues. In 2008, Cliff Thomason helped coach the 8th grade Central Middle School Basketball team (8-3 record), and in 2009, Cliff Thomason led the 7th grade Central Middle School Basketball team to a 9-1 record. He is well known for his ability to develop players into skillful athletes. He believes that in order to become the best you can be, you must be committed and willing to give 100% all the time.
In 2009, Coach Cliff Thomason started the Ballers Elite AAU program. He wanted to develop a program that would give athletes the opportunity to enhance their skill level, increase their basketball knowledge, and help them gain experience and exposure by traveling in-state and out of state to play other AAU basketball teams. He also developed a 1 on 1 Skills Training Program. This training was designed to enhance a player’s ability to be a skilled 1 on 1 player. In order for a player to be successful in AAU basketball, he or she will need to learn how to create seperation, use their body, and be able to finish strong at the basket, with body contact. For more information, please refer to the 1 on 1 Skills Training Tab. In 2012, Coach Cliff Thomason developed another training program that focus on speed, agility, lateral quickness, and vertical jumping, by using a series of resistance bands called VERTIMAX Training. A 12 week study at Arizona State University showed VERTIMAX was 6X more effective at developing explosive power than traditional plyometrics! VERTIMAX provides the unique training advantage of allowing “Light Load, High Speed” training which is an advanced form of plyometrics that provides superior gains in power and speed performance. Go to the VERTIMAX Training Tab, for more information.
Coach Mike Harju
Coach Mike Harju graduated from Yale high school in 2005, where he was the starting point guard and named the teams offensive MVP, while leading the team in points and assist. He was also the leadoff batter for the baseball team that won the district and regional MHSAA championship.
Coach Harju has been successfully coaching AAU basketball for about 8 years with various programs, including Blue Water Express, MWA, and Ballers Elite. Coach Harju has also been involved with coaching Port Huron Northern’s 3rd through 6th grade teams and 1st through 6th grade teams for the PHASD leagues. Coach Harju has also coached the Port Huron Allstars baseball team (8U-13U) for 6 years, and the Thumb area tackle football teams for 7 years. Coach Mike, as referred to by many of his current and past players, is a hard nosed coach who expects effort and energy from his teams. He agrees with the great Michael Jordan, that if you put in the work, the results will come. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
Coach Scott Thomas
In 1990, Coach Scott Thomas was the point guard at Port Huron High school and helped the Big Reds to win a EML Championship. After having a successful high school career, Coach Scott Thomas played college basketball at St. Clair County Community College for 2 years. After graduating from St. Clair County Community College, Coach Thomas have been involved with coaching AAU basketball. Most recently, coach Thomas joined the coaching staff for the varsity girls basketball team at Port Huron High School. Coach Scott Thomas believes in playing basketball the right way, working hard, being disciplined with no excuses, and being respectful to everyone that’s involved in the process. He believes that this game will teach athletes lessons for life, and they will gain life long relationships.
Coach Anthony Portis
Coach Anthony Portis has been coaching in Port Huron, Michigan for over 8 years. In that time he has coached football, basketball and baseball in the Port Huron and Richmond area making stops at Garfield Elementary School, Crull Elementary School, Holland Woods Middle School, and Port Huron Northern High School. Coach Portis is the Head Youth Basketball Coach (6th grade) for PHASD Holland Woods Middle School, currently coaching Port Huron Northern High School Youth Basketball for two years where his team has won area league-tournaments and competed in state wide league-tournaments across Michigan.
Prior to his coaching career, Coach Portis played for the Port Huron Northern Basketball team (2001-2005) He played varsity as a sophomore. As a junior/senior he earned many honors including 1st team all conference in the MAC district along with MVP honors amongst his team. He also was named honorable mention Player Of The Year by Detroit Free Press and Player Of The Year by The Times Herald (Port Huron) in 2005. His passion for AAU basketball originates from his experience as an AAU athlete playing in Michigan during his childhood. Coach Portis and his wife, Renae, have two children a daughter and a son: Mila and Armoni. Besides basketball, baseball and football Coach Portis enjoys watching sports and riding bikes. Coach Portis’ motto is “Take ownership, and Earn It,” as it conveys that hard work pays off for those willing to do it and hold themselves responsible.
Coach Chris Huss
Currently Head Women’s Basketball Coach at SC4. (9th season) 150+ wins, 4 conference championships, 1 state championship, 1 regional championship, 1994-95 National Runners-up. and resently was inducted into the SC4 Hall Of Fame. Also, 13 years Varsity Girls Basketball Coach at Capac High School. 160+ wins, 3 conference championships, 3 district championships, 1 regional championship. Coach Chris Huss will be coaching the 9th/10th grade girls AAU PLAYERS.
Coach Damon Kroetsch
Coach Damon Kroetsch is a 1991 graduate of Marine City High School. He played football, baseball and basketball. Coach Kroetsch has been coaching boys basketball for the past 3 years at the 4th 5th and 6th grade levels. He believes a good program has to start at the younger levels. A good base will lead to a strong program. As a coach, he hopes to influence young players in a positive way, both on and off the court. Coach Damon Kroetsch will be coaching the 7th grade boys AAU PLAYERS.
Coach Trisha McDonald
9th Grade Girls
Coach Trish McDonald has been coaching Ladies Basketball for 7 years at Carsonville Port Sanilac Schools. Her first year coaching she took over the youth program, grades 3-6. In the last seven years Coach Trish has gradually implemented herself firmly into the program. She has coached Junior High Girls Basketball successfully for the last 6 years. Three years ago the Girls Varsity had fallen by the waist, due to a lack of numbers. Coach McDonald couldn’t bare to see a program that she had been working so hard to build, fail. She decided to act, as of 2 years ago she took over the Varsity program with one goal in mind “make the program strong”. Her 2016-17 season she only had 7 ladies try out for the team, 2 of which had never played, it didn’t matter to her how strong the players were or how much talent they had on the team at that time, all that Coach McDonald needed was an opportunity. She saw the big picture, She understands the commitment and hard work that it is going to take in order for the program to flourish. Her 2017-18 season has been rough this year, they’re a very young team with only one senior and one junior, their numbers have increased to 10 ladies and continuously have to fight for every little goal we achieve. However, because Coach Trish McDonald have spent endless hours building the youth program, She will have enough ladies next year to not only have a strong Varsity team, but also bring back the Junior Varsity program.
Coach Trish McDonald has played Basketball since she was in the 5th Grade. She was brought up to Varsity her freshman year and were District Champs by her Senior year in 99. Her love for the game is deep rooted, it’s in the blood and a big part of her life. Coach Trish is passionate about the AAU program and know what kind of an impact it has among our youth. She strongly believe in Ballers vision and can’t wait to get started with this unique and rare opportunity to make a difference in our young people lives.