Uchenna Academy Athletic Team
Head Coach, National Team: Mr. Ro Russell
Uchenna Academy is proud to welcome the legendary coach Ro Russell to our coaching staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Coach Ro is a highly accomplished coach with a proven track record that spans over 36 years of success at both the college and professional levels. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to our team and will lead us to new heights.
We are confident coach Ro is the right person to guide our team to success. He has a clear vision of our program and is dedicated to developing each player to their fullest potential, both in and off the court.
Coach Ro’s coaching career includes:
- Starting the first Prep School in Canada in 2002 with TAPS Prep,
- Starting AAU in Canada in 1989.
- Over 500 alumni coached or trained to NCAA D1
- Multiple alumni played or currently play in the NBA
- Responsible for building up Crestwood Prep from 2015-2021 to be a powerhouse
- NPAA prep champion in 2018-2019
- OFSAA AAA champion 2019-2020
- Won over 1200 games overall in his coaching career (club, AAU, HS, Prep, college, etc.)
Stay tuned for more updates on coach Ro and the team and get ready for an exciting journey ahead!
Head Coach, Regional Team: Mr. John Clara
John has been involved with basketball for over 20+ years at the Club/AAU, High School, University/College and Pro Level as a coach and trainer. During this time he has assisted many players to go on and play at several NCAA D1/D2, NJCAA D1, NAIA D1, USport and CCAA academic institutions as well as assisting them play pro all over the world.
Most recently as Head Coach of Central Toronto Academy Senior Boys’ team from 2015-19 he compiled a record of 112 Wins – 27 Losses winning 3 OFSAA medals (2018-19 OFSAA 3A Bronze, 2016-17 OFSAA A Gold and 2015-16 OFSAA A Bronze).
John recently completed his fourth year as an assistant coach with the University of Toronto Men’s Varsity team and was an assistant coach with Centennial College Men’s Varsity team, as well as an assistant with the Mississauga Power of the National Basketball League for the 2013-14 season.
As the Scadding Court Ballhawks Program Coordinator/Head Coach as well as the High Park Warriors Head Coach he assisted his alumni from these programs attend the following academic institutions: Cornell University, Wagner College, New Mexico State, Cal State Bakersfield, North Carolina State, St. Bonaventure, University of Hawaii, Lafayette, Drexel, Western Kentucky, Binghamton, Hartford, Birmingham Southern, Nebraska, Robert Morris, Arkansas Fort-Smith, Lake Superior State, Seattle Pacific, Stonehill College, Polk State College, Sauk Valley, Dakota College at Bottineau, Kilgore College, Weatherford College, Mineral Area, Georgia Perimeter, Pikeville, University of the Cumberlands, University of Toronto, Lakehead, Ottawa, Lethbridge, Ryerson, Dalhousie, UPEI, Winnipeg, Brandon, UBC, Acadia, Western, Algoma, Guelph, Queens, McGill, York, Windsor, Humber College, Sault College, Centennial College, Seneca College and George Brown College.
John also has alumni who are currently or have coached in the following leagues: NBA (Toronto Raptors), Canadian National Team, USports (McMaster, Ryerson and UofT) and CCAA (Loyalist College and George Brown College).
Program Coordinator: Mr. Mike Smith
Mike has been involved in Basketball for 15+ years, as a Head Coach at the Elite AAU and Prep levels.
As a Head Head Coach for the Sr. Boys team at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, he led the team to an OFSAA appearance, AAA Division. He also coached Jr. Boys and Varsity Girls teams. As an Associate Head Coach of the Sr. and Jr. Boys at St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School, he lead the teams to two TDCAA Champions and one OFSAA appearance in AA Division.
As a Rep/AAU coach, Mike holds the position of Director of Basketball Operations at Elite 6, a 3SSSB Adidas Sponsored Organization that he Co-Founded. He was a Head Coach of the Etobicoke Basketball Association and has held a Club Director and Head Coach position at the EBA/Toronto Elite AAU, another team he Co-Founded. His AAU career also includes being the Head Coach of the Northern Kings team and Director of Operations and Assistant Coach at Grassroots Elite Canada.
Mike’s former players have attended various post-secondary institutions, including USports, OCAA and NCAA D1.
Program Consultant, Boys Basketball: Mr. Rohan Fisher
Rohan has been involved with basketball for over 11+ years at the Club/AAU, and High School level as a coach and trainer. During this time he has assisted many players to go on and play at several NCAA D1, and USport academic institutions.
Rohan started his coaching career with the Scarborough Blues Elite AAU team and then transitioned to Grassroots Elite AAU.
Rohan recently completed his fourth year as a program consultant at the Crestwood Preparatory College while his son Elijah attended the high school.
In addition to coaching, Rohan made significant, invaluable contributions by drawing media attention, awareness, and various sponsorships to the Crestwood Preparatory Program.
Rohan’s former players have attended various post-secondary institutions, including USports and NCAA D1.
Associate Head Coach: Mr. Maks Fomichov
Athletic Therapist: Mr. Victor Lanzillota
Victor has been working in the field of athletic therapy for the past 6 years, graduating from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science, followed with a Honours Bachelors of Applied Health Sciences from Sheridan College in Athletic Therapy, and Diploma in Massage Therapy from the Royal Canadian College of Massage Therapy. He currently holds the designations of a Certified Athletic Therapist – CAT(C), as well as Registered Massage Therapist – RMT.
Victor has worked clinically with people of all different occupations and age levels, but specializes in sports rehab and care, from grassroots, to Special Olympics, to the Provincial levels. He has worked in an Athletic Therapist role for several teams, including the 2016 OFSAA wrestling championship team, USports 2016 Ryerson Rams Silver Medal Men’s Basketball team, 2017 Team Ontario U17 Basketball team, and 2019 Team Ontario U15 Female and U17 Male Lacrosse Teams, representing Canada at the Brogden Cup in Maryland.
He currently works out of LeDrew Professional Sports Medicine in Etobicoke and owns his own business, Lanzi Athletic Therapy. He continues to provide coverage for many different sporting events, most notably the Ontario Basketball and the Ontario Lacrosse Associations. He is big on educating the athlete to learn how to recover optimally and independently, especially at a young age where it’s of utmost importance. He is also a techy – always looking into new tools and research to help you recover faster, and keep you in your game.