Basketball Preparatory Program

Helping Student-Athletes Improve Their Collegiate Opportunities

Uchenna Academy 2023-2024 Team Schedule

Sankofa Boot Camp

Aug. 2023

Uchenna Academic Scrimmage Showcase

Sep. 29-30, 2023

Can United Prep League

Oct. 2023 – Feb. 2024

Annual Uchenna Academy Classic

Dec./Jan. 2023

Platinum Prep Circuit and Championships

Fall 2023 – Winter 2024

Select US Showcases

2023-2024 season

Exhibition games with OSBA teams

2023-24 Season

Basketball Preparatory Program Overview

At Uchenna Academy, student-athletes thrive in an atmosphere that closely reflects the intensity and schedule of a post-secondary program. Our basketball program offers a range of levels, including a National team, Regional team, and Junior team. This comprehensive structure is designed to provide support and challenge to all student-athletes, enabling them to excel in their pursuit of both athletic and personal goals. By creating a platform for achievement on and off the court, our basketball program empowers student-athletes to reach new heights in their athletic and academic journeys.

Uchenna Academy basketball preparatory program is characterized by:

  • Competitive Nature and Player Development
  • Achievements and Recognition
  • Experienced Coaching Staff
  • University Coach Visits (NCAA D1, D2, USport, NAIA)

Competitive Nature and Player Development:

Our basketball program is highly competitive, participating in various leagues, tournaments, and showcases at both regional and national levels.

We emphasize the importance of skill development, teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship to help our athletes thrive in the competitive landscape. Our experienced coaching staff implements comprehensive training programs designed to enhance players’ technical abilities, tactical understanding, physical fitness, and mental toughness, including:

  • Daily 2-3 basketball workouts and practices
  • Weekly 3-4 strength and conditioning sessions
  • Daily 500-1000 shots made on our shooting machine
  • Over 30 tournament season games
  • Weekly exhibition games

Uchenna Academy student-athletes receive firsthand exposure to the expectations and intensity of collegiate-level practices. This exposure helps them understand the skills, physical fitness, and mindset required to succeed at the next level, motivating them to work harder and strive for excellence.

Achievements and Recognition:

Our basketball team has an impressive track record of achievements, including championships and notable tournament victories. Our players have received individual recognitions such as MVP awards, Player of the Game recognitions, All-League honors, and invitations to prestigious basketball camps and showcases, such as the All Canadian Biosteel games.

We take immense pride in our student-athlete college placement success. We have a strong track record of guiding and supporting our student-athletes in their journey towards college athletic programs. However, we firmly believe that achieving such opportunities requires unwavering dedication and hard work from our student-athletes every day.

University Coach Visits (NCAA D1 and D2, USport, OCAA, NAIA)

Uchenna Academy hosts numerous post-secondary coach visits to our school. During the 2022-2023 school year, over a dozen USport and NCAA D1 coaches as well as scouts visited our school during practices and games, thus allowing our student-athletes to be observed and potentially identified as recruits for their collegiate programs. Seeing our student-athletes perform in their natural environment provides valuable insight into their skills, work ethic and potential for growth. By visiting our practices, University coaches can establish relationships with talented athletes at an earlier stage, even before formal recruitment process begins. At Uchenna Academy, all our student-athletes are offered a platform for talent identification through University coach visits.

Uchenna Academy Coaching Staff

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:

  • Started the first Prep School in Canada in 2002 with TAPS Prep,
  • Started 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)

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).

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.

Experienced Coaching Staff – Student Benefits

Our coaching staff consists of highly qualified and experienced professionals, including Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Strength and Conditioning Coach and an Athletic Therapist on site.

The longevity and experience of our Head Coaches, Ro Russell and John Clara, bring unparalleled benefits to our program. Their extensive knowledge, track record of college placements, mentorship abilities, network, stability, and role modeling impact the growth and success of our student-athletes both in their athletic pursuits and personal development

With their combined decades of coaching experience, Ro and John possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise in player development, tactical strategies, and the nuances of the game. Their deep understanding of the sport allows them to provide high-level guidance and mentorship to our student-athletes.

Their ability to connect with college coaches, navigate the recruitment process, and showcase our student-athletes’ talents has resulted in many of our students securing opportunities to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. The longevity of Ro and John’s tenure brings stability and consistency to our program. Their consistent coaching philosophies, training methods, and team culture foster an environment of trust, continuity, and growth for our student-athletes. This stability allows athletes to develop a strong foundation and thrive under their guidance.

Our coaches provide invaluable insight and guidance about the college recruitment process, academic requirements, scholarship opportunities and the overall collegiate experience. Their insights help our student-athletes that have the skill and work ethic to compete at the post-secondary level, make informed decisions about their future and navigate the complex path to college athletics.