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

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. 

Future NBA stars
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 Nico
Nico Louriero
Technical Director

Nico is a former 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.

Coach Linden
Linden Smith-Hyde
Coach

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
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.

Coach Nico M
Nico Morales
Coach
Nico is a former professional basketball player for 12 years. Prior to starting to work with NBA Basketball School Australia, Nico worked at Cranbrook School as a basketball coach of various age groups. Prior to arriving in Australia, Nico has worked as a youth coach in various clubs, with wheelchair basketball, and with NGO organizations in countries like Kenya.
Coach Jess
Jess Sancataldo
Coach

Jess is a former NCAA D1 athlete that played at Northwestern University in the Big Ten Conference, where she claimed the first ever conference championship. As a coach, Jess has worked individually and in teams with many players in Australia, while helping them reach their dreams of getting college scholarships and competing professionally.

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.

Martin McLean
Martin McLean
Operations Manager

Martin began his basketball journey in Newcastle, playing for the Hunters, 4 years in SEABL (now NBL1) and 9 years in the NBL, before moving to the front office of the Falcons.

Since then, he has filled most positions at an Administrative and governance level within Newcastle Basketball. Chairman of the Board for 3 years, Coaching Director for 5 years, Regional NITP Coach for 10 years, Operations Manager for 5 years, State Junior Head Coach 6 years (National Champions 2015 U18 Boys), BNSW Coach of the year 2016, BNSW Administrator of the year 2017.

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