BASIL JARRETT, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Major Basil Jarrett is the Founder and Director of Hoop Kidz. A big basketball fan, Basil started playing at age 15 when he was in High School at Jamaica College. Despite the late start in basketball, he was a fast learner and by his third year playing the sport, he was already captain of the senior team. He later went on to represent the University of the West Indies in the sport and play for a number of Division 1 club teams in Jamaica. Basil had dreams of earning a basketball walk-on scholarship while studying at NCAA Division 1 school, Long Island University in New York, but soon realized the huge gap in talent that existed simply because like most Jamaican players, he did not start playing early enough and lacked certain fundamentals. But although he never won a NCAA scholarship, basketball has had a lifelong impact on him, having developed his confidence, self-esteem, physical and mental health, team-spirit, determination and leadership skills. With Hoop Kidz, Basil's dream is to help introduce basketball to as many prep and primary school aged kids as possible so that they can start to benefit from the sport at a much earlier age, and seize opportunities that he himself never had.
KIMANI FFRIEND, AMBASSADOR & COACH
Kimani Ffriend is a former NCAA, NBA, European and Jamaican National Basketball player, and currently an ambassador for the Jamaica Classic NCAA Basketball Event. Kimani moved to the USA after earning a scholarship to play college basketball at the University of Nebraska in 1999. He went undrafted in the 2001 NBA Draft, but signed multi-year agreements with the Miami Heat, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers. However, he waivered on each occasion and eventually played professionally in Europe, Asia and South America. Since retiring and returning to Jamaica he joined the Hoop Kidz team to help build the sport of basketball in Jamaica. In his role as Jamaica Classic Basketball ambassador, Kimani works to promote the event throughout the country particularly at the high school level. “Basketball has been very good to me, and I want to help grow the game here in Jamaica. To be successful however, we need our kids to start playing basketball much earlier than they do now and that’s what we are trying to do with Hoop Kidz”.
DUANE CUNNINGHAM, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Duane Cunningham is the current head coach of the Jamaica College Basketball team and a Level 3 certified FIBA coach at the national level. A standout in his playing days at JC, Duane received NCAA scholarships to attend Western Nebraska and Prairie View A&M University, Texas in 1986 and 1988 respectively and is a former National Jr. representative. Duane has been the architect of a string of successes as Head Coach at JC, orchestrating a run of championship victories in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Under his tutelage, 8 Jamaica College players have received scholarships to study in the USA, with 4 going on to play in the NCAA. One of his most exciting products is 6'11" Nick Roberts, starting center for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, who started every game in the 2017-18 season. Duane is a natural coaching kids and understands that patience, understanding and opportunity are what kids need more than anything else if they are going to enjoy the game and develop to their full potential. Duane oversees a team of other talented national and high school level coaches who share this philosophy of emphasizing the FUN in teaching the fundamentals of basketball.
DWIGHT JARRETT, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Dwight Jarrett is the Founder and Director of Operations for Hoop Kidz. A former Division 1 club and high school basketball player at Calabar High School, he is currently the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the track and field team at Calabar, but is still a big fan of basketball at all levels. A certified Sports Nutritionist, Dwight is serious about teaching kids the importance of a balanced nutrition. He incorporates these lessons into all Hoop Kidz events and activities, ensuring that kids appreciate that diet and exercise are the cornerstone of a healthy and active life. As Director in Charge of Operations, Dwight's job is to ensure that the Hoops Kidz experience meets and exceeds the expectations of parents and campers alike. He monitors all aspects of the Hoop Kidz camps, from equipment to staffing to making sure that all practices are properly staffed, begin and end on time and have maximum productivity. Dwight also works with the wider basketball community to ensure that new developments, technologies and best practices are incorporated into all Hoop Kidz activities. When not looking for ways to improve the Hoop Kidz experience, Dwight can be found in the gym helping adults to improve their physical and mental well being.
NOEL BROWN, ADMINISTRATOR
After a career in the finance and banking sector, Noel is excited to get back to his roots in sports and youth development this summer, bringing over 8 years of sports administration experience to Hoop Kidz. As our chief administrator, he is responsible for making sure all Hoop Kidz events and activities are run as smooth as silk - efficiently and cost effectively. Noel is dynamic, enthusiastic and flexible and is always willing to answer questions and provide assistance to parents and kids. Besides helping to run Hoop Kidz, Noel is a big basketball fan and enjoys going to the High School games. His mission is to work closely with Coach Duane to create the best experience for campers and coaches. Noel is thrilled for the chance to make a lasting impact on youngsters through Hoop Kidz. His knowledge and passion will make Hoop Kidz the best thing you and your kids do this summer. “Sports has always been a great life teacher for me. The lessons you learn on the court never leave you. We want to make sure that those lessons are all positive, uplifting and enduring."