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Topballerz Head Coach Andre Huston

After an intense two month search, the Connecticut Topballerz officially announces that New Haven’s very own, Andre Huston (more commonly known as “A.J.”), will be their Head Coach. For several months, the Topballerz vigorously searched for a Head Coach that not only had coaching experience but an attitude and passion for basketball that complemented the Topballerz mission. “We had several candidates that were excellent coaches and would have made sense, but they didn’t bring to the table what A.J. does. His knowledge of the sport coupled with a love and passion for the game that is often unparalleled, turned a tough decision into an incontrovertible one. We are extremely excited about the prospects of our inaugural season with A.J. at the helm” noted John Scavuzzo (General Manager of the Topballerz).

“This is a dream come true for myself and family. Every day, I would wake up with hopes and aspirations of becoming a Head Coach for a professional organization. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that it would happen this early in my career AND in my own backyard. I cannot thank Aaron and Trevor Hairston (owners of the Topballerz) enough for affording me such an opportunity. In addition, I would like to thank Coach Anthony Hill for his guidance and tutelage that helped prepare me for such a moment……I am truly blessed” stated an exuberant A.J. Huston!

An avid sports-fan as well as a respected athlete, Huston has spent the past five years coaching for such successful programs as Lyman Hall and Wilbur Cross. During the summertime, Huston can be found working basketball camps throughout the Connecticut area, volunteering time at the local girls’ and boys’ basketball centers, training players in his free time or coaching his AAU team to yet another National Tournament appearance. One needs only a brief moment with Huston to realize that outside his wife Jessica and his two beautiful children (Ruby and Blake), basketball is his life. Often sporting a pair of Jordan shorts and a shirt from one of the many basketball tournaments he’s attended, AJ can be seen carrying a spiral filled with plays, ideas, quotes and coaching theories that he consistently writes in. This type of dedication and passion are exactly why the Topballerz are so excited about the prospects of their upcoming season.

A family man first and a coach second, Huston not only offers his expertise as a coach but is often looked to as a mentor for the local youth. Seemingly known by everyone within the New Haven/Hamden area, Huston enjoys talking to young ball players/students and explaining the importance of keeping their grades up, showing up to school, being respectful to others, while always striving to better themselves on and off the court. “A lot of the kids today, especially in this area, have it tough. They are confronted on a daily basis with tough, possibly life-altering decisions and if I can reach out and help even just a handful of them with my advice and experiences, I’ll feel a little better knowing that I helped someone else out” said Coach Huston.

Not only does Coach Huston epitomize the very definition of altruism, he remains grounded and humble throughout his success. “A head coach is only as good as his assistants and with the basketball minds we have on staff, I am sure they will make me look very good quite often. I may have the title of Head Coach, but I wholeheartedly believe that our coaching staff is ONE unit and in order to succeed, we must all believe and respect one another. In saying that, I truly respect and believe in our coaching staff and am excited that together, we will lead the Topballerz into a city and state that has been long starved of basketball tradition. As a unit, we will continue to pursue excellence both on and off the court, aid in the community and shoot for the ultimate goal of a championship! Something, I think we can and will succeed in” stated Coach Huston.

Since being named Head Coach, Huston has spent countless hours preparing for the upcoming season by talking with players, recruiting, watching game film, learning the rules of the ABA and incessantly writing in the aforementioned spiral. With the season fast-approaching Coach Huston and his staff are in the process of finalizing their roster. When asked about the team, Coach Huston left us with this tidbit, “If you love exciting, fast-paced basketball, where five individuals play together as a team, you’re going to love us! If you enjoy a lot of pressure with traps and unique, stylistic defenses that lead to fast break dunks and high-scoring affairs, you are going to really love us. We have an extremely talented group of ball-players that will not only make our jobs as coaches much easier, but will also put on a show for our fans!”

Coach Huston and YOUR Connecticut Topballerz begin their inaugural season against intra-division rival, Jersey Express, on November 12th at Albertus Magnus College.

----John Scavuzzo

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