At the end of May, Coach Breslin came to us with a once in a generation opportunity; there was an opening in Kevin's home town for a High School Varsity Head Coach position at Saint James School, in Kevin's home district. With these positions coming up in time periods measured in decades, Kevin had been encouraged to apply and he subsequently was employed in that role over the summer break. We are very sad to see him leave, Coach Breslin has been instrumental in raising our game into the 21st Century, bringing many cutting edge practices to our program from his college experience; most notably our body mechanic "Sweep and Sway" shooting instruction which we instituted last season. We are very sad to see him go, and he has written a lovely "goodbye letter" to our families which we are including at the bottom of this article.
So.... The interview process began over the summer break, and we are extremely excited to introduce you to our new Head Coach, Alexander Loul Syum, "Coach Loul". Coach Loul Joins FastBreak basketball after coaching at the collegiate level in the States. Most recently he worked under Head Coach Clif Wegner as an assistant coach, and head of player development at Clackamas Community College. Before beginning his coaching career, he lived in NE Portland, Oregon where he attended Parkrose High School, and played varsity basketball all four years. Once he graduated in 2009 he accepted a scholarship to play at Clackamas Community College from 2010-2012 winning a conference championship. After his sophomore season Alex signed a letter of intent to Bethany College in Salina, Kansas where he played for two seasons, 2012-2014. Coach Loul will arrive in Singapore on September 6th, and will primarily be working with our top boys competitive teams. At 6'6'', we're looking forward to Alex also jumping on court with the boys in our Wednesday Night Men's League... Alex's full bio is below.
Alex Loul Syum (Coach Loul) Joins FastBreak basketball after coaching at the collegiate level in the States. Most recently he worked under Head Coach Clif Wegner as an assistant coach, and head of player development at Clackamas Community College. In the 2017-2018 season the Team finished 3rd in conference, but lost in the first round of the NWACC playoffs. During Coach Loul’s two seasons at Clackamas he contributed on placing 14 players on scholarships to continue their education. Coach Loul also worked as an advisor monitoring students on class schedules, and career counselling.
During the off seasons Coach Loul works with Elite Sports Performance in Portland, Oregon. Specialising in player development for basketball athletes throughout the United States. Also connecting with overseas, NCAA D1,D2,D3, NAIA and high school/AAU Men & Women basketball athletes. Passionate about assisting players to synchronise their mental and physical perspective towards the game of basketball. Challenging players to perform and elevate to their full potential In the class room, basketball court, and life.
Coach Loul is a players coach and is very excited to bring his experience working with teenagers on the court and in the classroom. Teaching how to build good habits and work ethic.
Before beginning his coaching career Alex was born in Eritrea, Africa but shortly moved to United States with his mom and dad once he was three. He was raised in NE Portland, Oregon where he attended Parkrose High School, and played varsity basketball all four years. Alex was an uptempo combo forward, that played inside and out basketball. Gaining 1st team and 2nd team all conference awards. Once he graduated in 2009 he accepted a scholarship to play at Clackamas Community College from 2010-2012 winning a conference championship. After his sophomore season Alex signed a letter of intent to Bethany College in Salina, Kansas where he played for two seasons, 2012-2014. In 2015 Alex graduated with a bachelor degree in Psychology.
Dear Fastbreak Basketball Family,
I am writing to you from my family home in Hagerstown, Maryland. Growing up here I always envisioned myself playing and coaching basketball for a career. I never would have imagined I would be able to do both things in a place as remote from Hagerstown as Singapore. Recently I accepted a job that will bring me back to the States to take over as the Head Coach forVarsity Boys' Basketball at Saint James School, a boarding school in my hometown with a storied basketball tradition.
It was a difficult decision to leave Singapore. My short experience living abroad was filled with memories that I will cherish forever. Many of them will include the time I shared with all ofyou through the incredible basketball program the coaches at Fastbreak have built over the last decade. Before coming to Fastbreak I had never coached kids under the age of 10 or girls' basketball before. Fastbreak has built a program where professional expat coaches can work to develop kids of all ages and abilities. As Coach Kiran can attest, my first experience working with the Sunday morning Give and Go group was not pretty but steadily I learned more about the kids and the Fastbreak program and felt comfortable with all ages and abilities byJune.
I owe Coach Kiran a huge debt for the home he welcomed me into, the transportation he provided me, and the organisational skills he shares with all of the Fastbreak family on a daily basis. He operates a program that is second to none anywhere in the world and I am proud to consider myself a Fastbreak coach. Part of that pride stems from working side by side with terrific coaches like Kirk Murad, Sze Huat Liang, Dominic Lim, Jeff Wood, Shane Fitts and the inimitable Paola Doebel. But I can't overlook what a privilege it was to be coached by, coach with and coach against Paul Mesecke. Coach Mesecke is an incredible resource with an unmatched wealth of experience an insight. He is the best coach I have come in contact with inmy ten years of coaching at the youth, high school, college and professional levels.
I've learned a lot that will help me personally and professionally in the one year I spent working in Singapore. The biggest lesson I'll take with me is that "anything worth doing is worth doing well." In basketball in the States, people have a tendency to do the bare minimum to run leagues and tournaments for kids and adults. I was shocked when I first arrived last August to find the founder of Fastbreak, Mike Denzel, setting up the score bench before the first week of Men's League. In basketball programs in the States people will look to save money byusing basketballs for months until they are barely recognizable as basketballs and do not bounce properly or rent inferior gym space to turn a profit. Mike does not stand for those kinds ofthings. He is a person committed to providing the best basketball experience for everyone in Singapore and the Fastbreak family is better for it. He has assembled an extraordinary staff that excels in delivering basketball instruction of the highest quality to all by maintaining high standards for everything they do.
I'll miss being a part of this terrific team of coaches led by Kiran. We had a lot of good times that will stay with me in my new job but mostly I know I will remember the times I spent working with the kids in practice. Every group I coached was special but to highlight a few I spent a particularly long time with: to the rising 7th grade boys at UWC East I'll miss our Saturday afternoon practices with Coach Defense, to the 11U D2 boys from the Spring I'll miss getting the chance to watch you all (maybe I should go back to saying y'all now) test yourselves against new and better competition this season, to the three most improved kids in my eyes during the 2017-2018 school year-Charlie Feeurherdt, Zach Zitur, and Skylar Stader I'll miss watching you grow and develop again.
Hopefully I will see all of you again some day! Thank you for making Singapore feel like home during my stay there. I regret having to leave but am excited by the challenge of running my own program in the States and confident that my experiences with all of you has prepared me for the future!