Coach Carlos Valdez was raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico until he was 17 and moved to Hudson Valley, NY to play his Senior basketball season at Minisink Valley High School. During his one year there he helped lead his team to a Section 9 title. Valdez then attended Mount Saint Mary College and played 4 years of basketball. As a Knight he completed his career as the only player in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. He was an All-Conference player for 3 seasons and was just recently inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame. After college, Carlos played professionally in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for 3 years in 2 FIBA Leagues.
Coach Trevor Stark started his basketball career at Robert F. Kennedy High School where was a 2-year Captain. He was the school’s All-Time Leading Scorer and finished 2nd All-Time in assists. He then attended Hilbert College in Buffalo, NY, where he was 1st Team All-Conference in his Junior and Senior years. He capped his Hawk career as a 1,000 point scorer and the 8th highest All-Time scorer in the school’s history. He also helped lead the team to its first regular season conference championship. He finished 1st All-Time in free throw percentage and 2nd All-Time in assists. After college Trevor played 3 seasons professionally in Israel for Hapoel Tzfat and Hapoel Maboaim.
Coach Niehoff began his basketball playing career at West Islip High School where he was a 3-year starter on varsity and a 2-year captain. He finished his senior season ranked 3rd in Suffolk County in scoring and finished as one of the All-Time leading scorers there. He helped lead the program to the most successful season in 30 years and was then selected to represent the Long Island Region as a starter for the silver medalist Empire State team in 2004. From there, Carson continued his playing career at SUNY Cortland where he was a 3-year starter and selected captain for his Senior campaign. He finished on the 1,000 point scoring list and received All-SUNYAC honors his Senior season. After college, he was selected as a member of the Washington Generals basketball team that plays against the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. After that, he spent 2 seasons at St. Anthony’s High School as the Freshman boys basketball coach. As recent as 2016, he was the Varsity Head Coach at Inwood Academy in Washington Heights, NY. As a coach and trainer, Niehoff values dedication, passion and the willingness to expand players game beyond their limits, through versatility and having a strong basketball I.Q.
Coach Alyson Brennan began her basketball career at Holy Trinity High School where she was a 4-year Varsity starter and a 3-year captain. She was awarded All-League her senior season. After high school, Brennan went to St. Thomas Aquinas College. As a Spartan, she was a 4-year starter and a 3-year captain. She was placed on the All-Rookie team her Freshman year. Currently, she is the Head Girls Varsity Basketball coach at Holy Trinity High School.
Coach Kimani Jackson attended St. Anthony’s High School where she helped lead her team to 2 Long Island Catholic League Championships. Following high school, she attended Molloy College in Rockville Centre on a full basketball scholarship. For the Lions she was a 2-year captain and finished in the Top 5 in Field Goal percentage in the ECC Conference 4 consecutive years. Kimani also received 2nd Team All-ECC honors her Senior Campaign and was selected as a 2-year Most Valuable Player for the team. After college, she played one year of Semi-Professional basketball in the WABA for the Long Island Storm. Currently Kimani is the head coach of the JV girls basketball team at St. Anthony’s High school. As a coach and trainer, Kimani looks forward to transferring all of the wisdom and life lessons that basketball has taught her both on and off the court. She enjoys presenting challenges to her players not only from an athletic development basis but also improving their mental toughness and discipline.
Coach Evan Conti started his basketball career at Holy Cross High School where we was a standout player and Captain in his senior season. He finished 5th All-time in scoring and earned 1st-Team in the CHSAA, which is one of the best high School leagues in the country. Additionally, he was selected to the Jewish Sports Review All-American Team and 2nd-Team All-City by the New York Post, Daily News and was also a McDonald’s All-American game nominee. Conti was the MVP of the 18th world Maccabiah Games for the 16U age in 2009 leading them to championship victory with a game high in points. Fast forward a few years later to 2013, he won the gold medal in the 19th Maccabiah games in 2013 for the Open team under legendary European coach Brad Greenberg. After high school, Evan played Division 1 Basketball at Quinnipiac University where he played 121 career games and had a successful career. After College he played 3 seasons of professional basketball in israel for Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Hapoel Migdal Haemek and Hapoel Afula. Currently, he is the Assistant Coach at NYIT.
Coach Zachary Tous started his basketball career at Long Beach High School where he was a 3-sport varsity athlete. From there he played basketball at SUNY Brockport for 3 seasons where he was one of the hardest workers for the Golden Eagles. Currently he is the Assistant Girls Varsity coach at Long Beach High School. We are excited to have him onboard as his energy, excitement and love for the game is contagious.
Coach David Muchnick joins the Level Up LI family as a trainer in his 17th year of college basketball as a player and coach. Muchnick was a 4-year player and 2005 graduate of SUNY Geneseo, a captain his senior season, and remains top-10 in program history in 3-point percentage. Currently, he is an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at John Jay College in Manhattan, assisting the Bloodhounds in all aspects of the program. For the last 3 seasons, Coach Muchnick was the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Maine Maritime Academy. In his tenure rebuilding the program, he led the Mariners to their best conference record since 2010-11 and is responsible for the best 3-point shooting team in school history. Before Maine Maritime, Muchnick was the Interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY where he was the school’s 2013-14 Coach of the Year. In addition to other coaching stops, Muchnick began his coaching career as the top assistant at SUNY Cortland from 2005-2008 and helped the Red Dragons to 2 20-win seasons and a NCAA Division 3 Tournament 2nd round appearance. Combined throughout his years, Muchnick has recruited and coached 17 All-Conference performers, 14 1,000-point scorers, 2 NCAA All-Americans and 2 international professionals.
Coach Ryan Spadaford began his basketball career at South Side High School where he was a 3 year starter and a 2 year captain. He lead the team to a Nassau County Championship title and received All County 2x and an All Long Island selection his senior year. After high school, Spadaford received a Division 1 basketball scholarship to the US Naval Academy. When suffering an injury after his Freshman year, he decided to transfer to Tufts University. As a Jumbo he was a 2 year starter and captain who played a large part in helping them advance to their 1st ever NCAA Elite 8 appearance.
Coach Justin Brown started his basketball career at Uniondale High School where he was a 3-year varsity starter and 2-year captain. He was All-Conference as a Sophomore, All-County as a Junior and the Nassau County Player of the Year as a Senior. In his senior campaign he helped lead his team to the Long Island Championship. Additionally, he was selected to play in the Alzheimer’s NYC vs. Suburbs All-Star game in 2009. Brown then attended St. Thomas Aquinas College where he received a Full Athletic Scholarship. As a Spartan, he was a 4-year starter and 3-year captain. His College career accolades consisted of All-Rookie League team, Preseason Player of the Year, 2nd-Team All-Conference and finished his career with as the All-Time Leading Career Scorer in the schools history.