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Varsity Head Coach - Derrick Donaldson

Derrick Donaldson was born and raised in Southern California. His love of basketball began at a young age while watching his own father coach basketball at the University of Laverne. Derrick found a passion for coaching while completing his undergraduate work at California State University, Fullerton. While attending Cal State Fullerton, he began coaching Freshman Boy’s Basketball for one of the local high schools. Since his first year of coaching, Derrick has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton, a Master of Education from National University and second Masters in Special Education from University of Phoenix. He has coached for 18 years in various positions from Freshmen Head Coach to Varsity Head Coach.

Coach Donaldson feels that this team could be very special as long as we continue to stick together and follow the core values that have been put in place to make us successful.

When Coach Donaldson is not coaching, he loves spending time with his wonderful wife Sophia, their wonderful daughter Kinsley, their newborn son Owen and their dog Rolo. Coach Donaldson is thankful for his family’s support throughout the season.

Hawk TOUGH
 

         
 
Associate Head Coach - Jason James

Coach James has a great passion and love for the game of basketball along with a strong demand of hard work from his players. Coach James beliefs are teaching the fundamentals of the game of basketball to our players enhancing their high school careers and influencing them beyond high school and into the future. Coach James believes the game of basketball is a platform to build on work ethic, attitude and the character, to help enhance our player’s curriculum, commitment to community and support career and players future goals.

Coach James has worked and operated at the club level for the past 9 years in the Arizona Valley, along with 5 years in New Mexico before moving to Arizona in 2007.

 
   

Varsity Assistant Coach - Andrew Svorinic

Andrew Svorinic has loved the game of basketball since a very early age. Born in New York and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Basketball has been at the center of Andrew’s life directly and indirectly for many years. It is the greatest game in the world and it is excellent teaching tool for lessons in life.

Andrew’s vision is champions competing inside, outside, above and beyond the hardwood lines. Core belief is competing with work ethic, attitude and character. Andrew works with players on bringing the 4 E’s everyday: Effort, Energy, Enthusiasm and Execution. Andrew has coached high school club the last 6 years and has 10 plus years of coaching experience.

Andrew is married to his high school sweetheart Carolyn. They have two children Elizabeth, Matthew and a dog named Molly.

Go HAWKS!

   
JV Head Coach - Vern Daniels

Vernon Daniels was born in North Carolina, and raised in Georgia before moving out to Arizona later in junior high. Basketball became a passion of his at an early age from watching is father play and grew from watching his childhood idol Allen Iverson.

As a player Vernon had four years of varsity basketball in high school, three years with Maricopa high school before transferring to Mountain Pointe his senior. At the end of his high school playing career Vernon finished with 20 plus scholarship offers and signed to play for two time national champion Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. After time spent at Grand View he decided to take a chance to move up and transferred to Fullerton College in Fullerton, California. At Fullerton he got the chance to practice/train with professional coaches and players from varies levels/leagues, but after the season Vernon decided it was best to “Hang’em up” due to injuries.

When Vernon isn’t coaching high school ball he loves to still get into the gym and train, as well as training/coaching his middle school and elementary players.
   
JV Assistant Coach - D’Angelo Dunbar

Coach D'Angelo "D" Dunbar was born in Fort Wayne IN, but was raised in Kansas City MO. Where he was a 4 time letterman football player and also was a 3 year letterman in basketball. Coach Dunbar went to play collegiate Basketball. While playing collegiate basketball coach Dunbar earned many awards but the most outstanding one is being a 2 time All American. Now that's all over with I just want to give back to the community and help kids get to where I've been or higher.

When Coach Dunbar is not coaching kids or working. he's spending time with his wife of 3 years Molly Dunbar and his sons Armani Dunbar, Amir Dunbar. Very excited to start this chapter of my life.

   

 

Freshmen Coach - James Zuccaro

Coach James Zuccaro was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York Upon entering high school he and his family moved to Gilbert, Arizona where James attended Highland High School and played basketball. He played one year varsity during Coach Donaldson's first season as assistant coach. After graduating he continued his education at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and continued to play basketball. He went on to complete his bachelors in sociology and college basketball career at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY.

James would continue his playing career after college playing professionally for the Ulster Elks in Northern Ireland, while also beginning his coaching career, coaching 18U and 16U club basketball for the Ulster Elks Girls club this past season. As a coach for the Elks he won an All-Ireland national championship with the 16U team. In his time in Northern Ireland James also mentored at-risk youth inside the communities of Belfast as a Victory Scholar for the coveted organization Sport Changes Life, while obtaining his master's degree in Sports Management from Ulster University.

This season will mark Zuccaro's second season coaching at his Alma Mater, Highland High School, and he is excited to help young Highland student-athletes reach their full potential, in the classroom, on the court and as young men in society.
 

                       
          Program Assistant  Coach - Justin Close

Justin Close is originally from Las Vegas Nevada. He is the second oldest of 4 boys and his family moved out to Arizona while he was serving a mission 4 years ago. He was a 3 sport athlete in high school and he was on varsity basketball team his junior and senior year.

He is in his 4th year coaching basketball in Arizona, his 1st season at Highland. He is currently a junior at ASU studying History Education. He loves coaching and working with young people in helping them develop and become better.

         

   

HIGHLAND HIGH SCHOOL
4301 E. Guadalupe Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234
Phone: (480) 813-0051
GILBERT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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