Premier Basketball Staff

Samantha Prahalis

Director of Girls’ Training

  • Attended Commack High School
    • McDonald’s High School All-American
  • 2007 & 2008 Long Island Player of the Year
  • The Ohio State University
    • Associated Press
    • All-America Second Team
    • Big 10 All-Time Assist Leader
  • Phoenix Mercury
    • 1st Round Pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft

Philip Izevbehai

Boys’ Lead Trainer

Premier Basketball Coach Phil Izevbehai
  • Elwood-John Glenn High School
    • 2x All-County
    • All Long Island 2008-09
  • New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
    • Associated Press
    • All-Conference Second Team
    • Top 10 3 pointers made in NYIT History 2012 to 2014

Former Camp Staff Members

Bernard Hopkins

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Bernard Hopkins is a 6’6″, 235-pound power forward. He played college ball at Hagerstown Community College for two seasons before transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for his final two. As a seniorin 1995–96, Hopkins was named the 1996 CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament MVP as well as the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.

Hopkins, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, was a standout basketball player in high school and graduated in 1992. He spent his first two seasons playing approximately one hour away in nearby Hagerstown at its community college. He then transferred to VCU to play for the Rams, and in just two years became a highly decorated player in the school’s history. During his juniorseason, Hopkins shot 58.5% from the field and finished with the 25th best shooting percentage in the country. He then broke out during his senior year when he scored 538 points, grabbed 333 rebounds. Also as a senior, he became the CAA’s first player to record 500+ points, 300+ rebounds, 70+ assists and shoot better than 50% from the field in a single season. He was named the CAA Tournament MVP as well as the CAA Player of the Year. For his career, Hopkins scored 950 career points.

Since 1998–99 he has played for various teams, all in Spain, and became a naturalized citizen of that country. His career highlights include being named aLiga ACB All-Star in 1999 and 2001, a five-time Player of the Month and a 24-time Player of the Week.

Juan Dixon

College Career: Maryland began the 2001-2002 season ranked #2 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Dixon led the Terps 32-4 record over and the school’s first ever National Championship. He was voted to All-ACC team and was also a first team All-American. He was also recognized as one of the nation’s best college players and was honored as the 2002 ACC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and ACC Athlete of the Year.

He became Maryland’s all-time scoring leader when he scored 29 points against Wisconsin to help Maryland advance to the Sweet Sixteen, passing Len Bias (2,149 points). He also became the only player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 points, 300 steals and 200 three-point field goals. In addition to leaving Maryland as the school’s all-time scoring leader, Dixon also left as the Terrapins’ all-time leader in three-pointers made (239) and attempted (615). He is second on Maryland’s all-time steals list with 333 and third in free-throw percentage (.850). Dixon also stands as Maryland’s all-time NCAA Tournament scoring leader with 294. Upon completion of his career, Dixon’s #3 jersey was honored and now hangs in the Comcast Center. In 2002, Juan Dixon was honored as a part of the ACC 50th Anniversary men’s basketball team, one of only 8 Terrapins selected to the 50-man team.

Professional Career: Dixon was drafted 17th overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2002 NBA Draft. He spent seven years in the NBA, after being drafted by the Washington Wizards. In his final season in Washington (2004–2005), he averaged eight points per game, including a career-high 35 points in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls.

Jeffery Brickus

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The Premier Basketball Camp has just added Jeff Brickus to our elite staff. Jeff starred at D-2 Kutztown University as their starting Point Guard. Jeff scored over 1,000 points and also is second all-time in assists. We welcome Jeff to our staff and look forward to his ability to communicate his knowledge of the game to our campers. All conference first team 2001-2004; Preseason DII All American Honorable Mention and earned the Lehigh Valley Athlete of the Year in 2003. In 2010, Jeffrey was inducted into the Kutztown Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mike King

Played the 2002-03 season with the Roanoke Dazzle in the NBDL, averaging 4.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 48 games. Started once. Selected by the Dazzle in the eleventh round (#81 pick overall) of the 2002 NBDL Draft.Coach Mike King

Finished collegiate career as George Washington’s 18th all-time leading scorer with 1327 points. Played in 102 games, starting 70 times. Drafted by the Fayetteville Patriots of the NBDL in the 9th round (#65 pick overall) of the 2001 NBDL Draft.

As a senior, averaged 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. Also chipped in with 63 assists and 50 steals. Started 18 of 32 games, averaging 27.6 minutes a game. Scored season-high 24 points twice, against Texas A&M in the season opener on Nov. 18, and against Howard on Nov. 24. Also scored 23 points against Rhode Island on Feb. 14. Posted two double-doubles, 12 points and 10 rebounds against St. John’s on Dec. 2, and 19 points and 12 rebounds against Fordham on Feb. 21. Averaged 14.7 points in George Washington’s three games in the Atlantic-10 tournament, and tallied 19 points and 8 rebounds in the finals against Temple on Mar. 9. Scored in double figures 19 times.

As a junior, averaged 12.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. Started 10 of 24 games, while averaging 30.0 minutes a contest. Missed six games in mid-season due to a shoulder sprain. Ranked third on the team in scoring. Connected for season-high 21 points with seven rebounds against Rhode Island on Feb. 19. Had three double-double performances, including 17 points and 10 rebounds at Xavier on Feb. 22. Scored 20 points on 7-for-11 field goal shooting, while grabbing eight rebounds and snaring six steals against South Florida on Nov. 27.

As a sophomore, averaged 15.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. Started 28 of 29 games. Ranked third on the team in scoring and rebounding. Came off the bench to notch career-high 25 points against Ohio University on Dec. 30. Recorded first career double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds against Dayton in the Atlantic-10 Tournament Quarterfinal on Mar. 4. Was named Atlantic-10 Player of the Week on Jan. 3.

As a freshman, averaged 13.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. Started 14 of 17 games after becoming academically eligible to play on Dec. 29. Finished second on the team in scoring. Scored career-high 25 points on 9-for-14 field goal shooting at Xavier on Feb. 16. Scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds against Oklahoma State in the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 13. Was named to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team.

Terry Truax

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Terry Truax’s outstanding career has ranged from working with 8-year-olds attending their first basketball camp to coaching
nationally ranked college athletes during his quarter-century as a Division I head basketball coach and assistant. As Men’s Head Coach at Towsen University for 14 years, he achieved three conference titles and two NCAA appearances. Coach Truax also served as Head Coach and Head Basketball Coach for Hagerstown Community College and as Assistant Coach to legendary Tar Heel Dean Smith of the University of North Carolina in addition to other positions at Mississippi State University, University of Colorado, and the University of Florida. More recently, he headed the athletic program for three years at Yeshivat Rambam, a Jewish school in northern Baltimore, and coached and taught at Patterson School in North Carolina, a Division I pipeline prep school. He has supported two of the nation’s top high school-level basketball programs working as Assistant Coach to there nowned Morgan Wootten at Dematha High School, and as Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Montrose High School. Coaching a South Korean pro team, conducting basketball clinics in Seoul, Brussels, and London, and participating in more than 100 basketball camps for girls and boys—these are other experiences that have shaped Coach Truax. One thread ties together all of Terry Truax’s long and diverse career: a devotion to helping young people grow not only as basketball players, but also as human beings.

Tanisha Benson

tanishaAcademic All-MAC … First Team All-MAC … Named Mid-American Conference Eastern Division Player of the Week twice (Feb. 13 and Feb. 27) … Named to the 2011-12 Preseason All-MAC team at the start of the season … Earned Mid-American Conference Scholar Athlete of the Week honors on Dec. 15 … Scored 14.5 points and collected 7.2 rebounds per game, leading Ohio in both categories … Scored in double figures during 25 of the 28 games she played throughout the season … Scored 407 points on the season to end her impressive career with 1,086 … Scored her 1,000th point at Akron on Feb. 14 … Collected 202 rebounds, ending her career with 583 … Picked up her 500th rebound at Central Michigan on Jan. 25 … At one point during the season scored at least ten points in 12 straight games … Registered three double-doubles on the season … From late December to early January, sank 29 consecutive free throws … Ended the season ranked in the MAC’s top ten in the following categories: scoring (4th), rebounding (7th), FG percent (10th), FT percent (6th) and steals (7th). Benson Started her career at the University of Cincinnati then transferred after her Freshman year.

Gilbert Brown

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Brown attended high school at South Kent Prep in South Kent, Connecticut, where he was coached by Raphael Chillious. Serving as captain his senior year, he averaged 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, leading South Kent to a 17-17 record. Upon his graduation in 2006, Brown was South Kent Prep’s all-time leading scorer with 1,157 points.[1]He was ranked as the nation’s No. 62 recruit and the nation’s No. 19 shooting guard by Scout.com, ranked as the nation’s No. 66 recruit and No. 14 shooting guard nationally by Rivals.com, and ranked the nation’s No. 93 recruit by USA Today.[2]

Brown started every game of his senior season averaging 28 minutes player per game and 11.3 points per game. He helped lead Pitt to the 2010-11 Big East Regular Season Championship and a number 1 seed in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.

On July 5, 2011, Brown signed a contract with the German team S.Oliver Baskets from Würzburg. He had the option to leave and workout for NBA teams after the 2011 NBA lockoutended.[8] In early December 2011, Brown joined the Boston Celtics for training camp, but was cut before the start of the regular season.[9] On December 30, 2011, Brown signed with NBA D-League team Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Jermaine Dixon

jermaine-dixon-pointJermaine started his career at Maine Central Institute for Head Coach Ed Jones…Averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game at MCI…Attended James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, Md. where he was coached by Damon Pigrom… Guided Blake to a state title game appearance…Averaged 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a senior…Second Team All-State selection and First Team All-Gazette selection…Played for the Baltimore Select AAU squad.

PRIOR TO PITTSBURGH

Played two seasons at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Fla. for Head Coach Eddie Barnes…Two-time All-Panhandle Conference First Team selection…First Team Junior College All-America selection by The Sporting News as a sophomore…Named a First Team “Super Sophomore” by The Sporting News…Led the Eagles to a 17-10 record as a sophomore…Scored 1,050 career points in two-year junior college career and ranked among school leaders in points per game (18.1), field goals made (372), field goal attempts (855), free throws made (252), free throw attempts (335), assists (219) and steals (142)…One of only two players in school history to finish a career with over 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.

Senior Jermaine Dixon is Pitt’s lone returning senior starter from the 2008-09 team. The lefthander proved to be a mentally and physically tough competitor, quick slasher and efficient shooter last year as a junior. Dixon is a natural scorer who can penetrate and attack the basket. He uses his quickness to create shots on the offensive end. He also emerged as Pitt’s lock-down perimeter defender as his assignment often included guarding the opponent’s best perimeter player. Last year, Dixon emerged as Levance Fields’ backcourt counterpart after transferring to Pitt following two seasons at Tallahassee Junior College. This season, Dixon’s experience and leadership will prove valuable to the Panthers.

Rodney Elliott

rodney

Rodney, a 6’8″ forward started his career at local Dunbar High School. He spent his next four years playing basketball at The University of Maryland.

Rodney’s professional career literally took him all over the world. He played in Belgium, Baltimore, Kansas City, Livorno Italy, Pesaro, Italy, Cibona, Croatia, Spain, Sydney, Australia, Fuenlenbrada Spain, Paris, France, Buenos Aires and Argentina.

Rodney is currently the Men’s Assistant Basketball Coach at Mount Zion Prep.

Brandon Driver

Fitness Trainer – Speed & Agility

brandonBrandon is a recent graduate of San Jose State, Brandon starred at Cornerback and is currently working out with several NFL teams.

Mark Amatucci

Featured Guest Speaker

Former Calvert Hall Men’s Basketball Coach

mark

Coach Amatucci compiled a record of 117-27, winning three consecutive Catholic League titles from 1980-82 and the mythical national title in 1981-82.
He coached both Juan Dixon (The University of Maryland, and First Round selection of the Washington Wizards) and Duane Ferrell (who went on to star at Georgia Tech and played for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks).

Jackie Boswell

Special Guest

Unknown-2Boswell returns for her second season at Stevenson for the 2014-15 season after leading the Mustangs to the CAC playoffs, the team’s second appearance since Stevenson entered the conference in the 2006-07 season. She gained her first collegiate victory in the season opener on Nov. 15, 2011.

In the final season in the CAC, Boswell lead the Mustangs to their first ever victory in 11 all-time meetings against CAC-rival Marymount on Jan. 14, 2012.

Prior to Stevenson, Boswell spent 10 highly successful seasons at Seton Keough High School in Baltimore, where she totaled a 235-82 record from 2000-11.

During that time, Boswell led the Gators to six IAAM title games, including an A conference championship in 2009, while earning three Baltimore City Coach of the Year honors in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and Metro Coach of the Year in 2009. She was also named WBCA District 3 Coach of the Year in 2008.

In 2009, Boswell led Seton Keough to its first IAAM A Conference championship since 2000, the No. 1 ranking and a 25-8 record. The Gators won the prestigious ESPN RISE National High School Invitational with a 44-42 win over seventh-ranked Riverdale Baptist and captured the Bishop Walsh Catholic School Invitational, something no Baltimore school had done in the years prior. The team was also ranked at No. 12 in the ESPN Rise Girls Basketball Team Rankings.

Boswell was selected as the head coach of the red team at the USA Olympic Youth Festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2007 and led eight teams to the AAU National Championship while winning five AAU state championships.

The director and founder of the Gator Basketball Camp since its inception in 2001, Boswell also has worked the McDonald’s All-American Camp as well as camps at the University of Florida and Duke University.

Boswell played four seasons at Division III Virginia Wesleyan College where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in sociology in 1995. She and her husband Tony have three kids, Kayla, Elana, and Tessa.

General Staff

The general staff at Premier Basketball Camp consists of experienced players with a strong background of coaching successfully at various levels in an individual or group setting. Every member of our staff is driven not only by an exceptional passion for the game but also an enthusiasm for the numerous benefits basketball can instill in young people both on and off the court. Our staff is excited to share their experiences and knowledge of the game with the next generation of players.

Additional Expertise

Premier Basketball Camps work closely with well-known sports psychologists, professional trainers, and speed and agility specialists. In addition, all staff members are familiar with our safety protocols and our professional trainers are certified in first aid.

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