About – Who we are matt_w935cirz January 24, 2023

Our mission is to inspire, connect and empower youth in Australia through the power of basketball.

NBA School Day

Who’s behind NBA Basketball School Australia?

Basketball Magic, an Australian-owned sports management company focused on grassroots basketball development, has partnered with The National Basketball Association (NBA) to launch and operate the first NBA Basketball School in Australia.

NBA Basketball School provides an additional avenue for young players to learn the game and refine their skills under the tutelage of established coaches with proven training techniques. Together with Basketball Magic, beginners and advanced players alike will experience world-class training to elevate their game.

Ben O’NeillManaging Director and Owner

Ben O’Neill is the Managing Director and Owner of Basketball Magic, the licensed operator of NBA Basketball School Australia. Ben played Div 1 College Basketball at the University of Hartford, USA, and is currently the Head Basketball Coach with the Cranbrook School Firsts. 

In recent years, Ben was on the coaching staff of the Australian Boomers at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and spent several years working under the guidance of Andrew Gaze with the Sydney Kings.

Ben was a Staff member at the 2022 NBA Basketball Without Borders Asia Camp, has consulted for multiple NBA teams, and has scouted for the Dallas Mavericks.

With a Master of Education (Sports Coaching) from the University of Sydney and a Performance Coaching accreditation from Basketball Australia, Ben is excited to oversee and play an integral role in the success of the NBA Basketball School Australia program. 

Coach Ben
Bret Mactavish

Bret MactavishCEO

Bret is a senior global basketball industry executive who most recently led Norths Basketball in Sydney, Australia as CEO since June 2022. Under his leadership, the club achieved new heights both on and off the court and received an impressive 12 Basketball New South Wales Awards in 2023. Among these were Association of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Developing Female Basketball. Additionally, the Norths NBL1 Women’s East Conference Champions and NBL1 National Grand Final runners-up team was honoured as Association Team of the Year.

Under Bret’s direction, Norths reached record levels of sponsorships, including securing its first principal NBL1 naming rights partner. He also reorganized and established a new management team to serve the club’s more than 6,000 members.

Bret brings a high level of basketball industry experience to the NBA Basketball School Australia, having previously served as Director of International Basketball Operations at the NBA, General Manager of Operations for the NBL Australia, Basketball Operations Manager for the WNBA, and Head of Players’ Experience at FIBA.

Highlights of Bret’s experience includes working for the WNBA during its much-heralded launch in 1997, organising the first Basketball Without Borders camp for the NBA in 2001 (Italy) and additional camps in Turkey, South Africa, and Brazil. Running the day-to-day operations of the NBL Australia from 2014-2016. Conceptualising and delivering FIBA’s inaugural Players’ Experience Programme for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup for men in China.

Nico LoureiroTechnical Director

Nico is a FIBA accredited coach with experience working at all levels of the NBA development programs, from grassroots to elite. Most recently, Nico was the Basketball Operations Leader for NBA Latin America, where he oversaw the player and coach development for the region. 

Prior to that, Nico spent three years serving as an assistant coach to the NBA Global Academy in Australia, where he contributed to the development of current NBA players Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels. 

Nico’s experience with the NBA extends to 4 countries, with professional coaching staff roles in Canada, Mexico, Ecuador and Australia. He has been part of 6 national championships and has led clinics for players and coaches worldwide. 

Sydney Staff

Our coaches are at the very heart of our organisation.
With a passion for youth basketball, each one of our coaches is hand-picked for their expertise, dedication, and ability to inspire youth.  We are growing our coaching team, so if you are keen to join us, get in touch.

Coach Linden
Linden Smith-Hyde

Linden has over 20 years playing experience including earning a scholarship to NCAA Division I school Nicholls State University and currently plays for Inner West Bulls in NBL1 East. Has been the head coach for a number of different age groups at Waverley College. He is currently involved with player development and is the Lead Assistant Coach for the Firsts. Previously, Lindens fulfilled Head Coach and Assistant Coach duties across several seasons for the Waratah Women and Youth League Woman’s teams at Norths Basketball.

Coach Bruno
Bruno Irigoyen
Trainee Coach

Bruno has 17 years of basketball experience as a player and 2 years as coach. 8 seasons as a professional player in Brazilian National League (NBB) and also in top level international tournaments with the Brazilian national team. Competed in tournaments in USA, Germany, Latvia, etc. Throughout playing career, developed a strong understanding of the sport and have honed skills in leadership, teamwork and strategic thinking thanks to the great coaches. Played under Ruben Magnano, Olympic champion with Argentina in 2004. As coach, worked with junior teams in Brazil where the focus was on helping young players for transitioning from junior to professional, improving their individual skills, fitness level and game awareness.

David Pereyra

Coach David started his coaching career when he was still playing in his local club in Barcelona, Spain.

Actively coaching for 14 years, he has coached from u10’s to u18’s men and women and has participated in several off-season and holiday camps with top-level Spanish coaches like Sito Alonso (UCAM Murcia).

In 2015, David coached a season in Denmark while studying. In 2017 his u18’s team finished 3rd overall and participated in the Final 4 in Barcelona.

David has a Level 2 Basketball Coach Certificate in Spain, equivalent to a Level 2 in Australia, as well as a Spanish referee license.

David relocated to Australia in 2018 where he has been coaching Representative Basketball, High-School Basketball and skills development programs in Sydney.

Now, based in Wollongong, David has been helping young athletes with a strong focus on skill development and fundamentals.

Coach Josel
Josel Peralta

Josel holds a Bachelor’s in Health Science and a Master’s in Podiatric Medicine, with a focus on Biomechanics and Human Movement. With over 20 years of basketball experience, he honed his skills within the Basketball NSW system, competing in the Waratah Leagues and NBL1 (formerly ABA). Additionally, Josel played Division 1 College basketball in the Philippines. Before joining the NBA school, he worked as a certified sports medicine podiatrist, performance coach, and movement specialist. Now, Josel combines his expertise in basketball performance, rehabilitation medicine, and skills training, bringing a unique blend of knowledge and passion to his coaching role.

Coach David
David Alegre Savat
Newcastle Staff
Coach Mariano
Mariano Cerutti
Regional Technical Director

Mariano has been a lead skills coach for NBA Basketball School Australia in Sydney since its opening, and has worked as an international head coach for various global events such as: Nike Basketball Camp in Hong Kong and Danillo Gallinari’s (NBA Player) Basketball Camp in Italy.

Got what it takes to be an NBA Basketball Schools coach?

If you are a local or foreign coach with relevant coaching experience at the youth level that is passionate about working with children aged 6 to 18; we’d love to hear from you.

NBA Basketball School Australia is a child-safe organisation committed to providing a safe and positive place for youth to develop and have fun. 

Join our team of talented professionals with excellent opportunities for professional development. 

About NBA Basketball School Australia