We Are Sol Proud!

Several factors differentiate San Diego Sol from other clubs including our expert coaches, consistent and organized practices, and the fact that we are the only club in San Diego to have its own practice facility where our players can get extra practice.

We take all levels of players and give everyone the same care and training. Whether you are a beginning player or a high school athlete aspiring to play in college – you will receive the same attention and expertise from our coaching staff. Additionally, all our coaches have coached in high school, college or both.

We offer a comprehensive program placing players of similar abilities on age-group based teams. For some players, our club is an introduction to competitive basketball. Some of our teams are highly competitive travel teams. A player can begin with our club and improve his or her skills to any level – from elementary and recreational levels all the way through college and on to the professional ranks. Also, as a member of Sol, you will receive discounts to participate in our camps and clinics.

For these reasons and many more we can say that we are Sol Proud and we welcome you to join our Sol family!

More About Us

We know that we are teaching more than basketball to our players. We know that the tools they learn from being on a team and playing on the court can be applied to their everyday lives. These lessons include the principles of discipline, perseverance, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence. We are helping our players build character for their future off the court.

 

Original Women’s Sol Team

Back row from left to right – Sue Homer, Amy Cleveland, Sara Heckman, Jennie Harris, Janine Phillips, Coach Tony Allen, Nicole Anderson, Deb Therou, Mo Taylor.
Kneeling from left to right – Stephanie Williams, Jodi Tres

For seven weeks, beginning in February of 1997, a group of fifteen women participated in once-a-week scrimmages designed to prepare players for college and professional competition. From this initial group, a post-collegiate women’s team was assembled that went 28 – 3 in its first season. The name San Diego Sol was chosen, in part, because “sol,” the Spanish word for sun, aptly relates to the sunny climate in San Diego.

That women’s team won the regular season and playoffs of the Tierrasanta League, won the 1998 Division I, NWBL Regional Championship and was runner-up in the 1998 Division I, NWBL National Championship. The San Diego Sol women’s team disbanded in 1999 when a number of players moved-on to play professional basketball in Europe.

When some of the women from the original San Diego Sol returned from playing professional basketball overseas, they recognized the need in San Diego for a program that offers a wide range of opportunities for young players. In March of 2002, our staff organized an assessment camp that was attended by girls ranging from 8 to 18 years of age. Eight teams were established under the name San Diego Sol Basketball Club. By March of 2003, there were 12 teams supporting more than 100 girls.

The parents in the Sol program requested that Sol start a program for boys so, in 2005, Sol added a boys program. The Sol Pee Wee program was begun in 2007 and has teams for boys and girls as young as 5 years of age.

The staff and players of San Diego Sol give thanks to those who helped or took part in the San Diego Sol teams of the past and to those who participate now and in the future. We appreciate their efforts and commitment to improving the level of basketball in San Diego and to the development of the character and the personalities of the players who are proud to say,“Sol.”

Over the years we have collected some great photos of our teams and their victories. Please take a stroll down memory lane with us as we memorialize our players achievements.

Sol Photos

What People Are Saying

The Sol’s highly experienced and knowledgeable coaching staff uses a positive approach to the game, focusing heavily on fundamentals, individual skill development and team play. Players who come out of this program are well-rounded and skillful, and prepared to succeed in all phases of their careers.
Jenny Gross, Head Coach - UC Davis
My daughter has been playing at San Diego Sol since the first grade…Today she is a junior and still loves the game. Great coaches, excellent facilities and outstanding basketball skills is what they offer. Thanks for a great experience!
Jaime Hernandez, Sol Proud Parent

Our Coaches In Action

Matt Armstrong
Matt ArmstrongCoach
Coach Armstrong is originally from Santa Cruz, California where he was a two sport athlete in both football and basketball. He attended Lakeland University, in Wisconsin to play football, but a back injury ended his playing career. At Lakeland, he was also the student assistant for four years with the Women’s Basketball program. He helped with the development of 7 All-Conference players during his time at LU. From there, he went to coach at the NCAA Division II level Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN. Coach Armstrong came to San Diego to be an assistant at the NCAA Division II Point Loma Nazarene University. During his time at Point Loma, he assisted in the development of numerous All Conference players and one All American. Coach Armstrong earned his bachelors degree from Lakeland in Exercise Science and went on to earn his Masters Degree in the science of management with a focus of organization and leadership. As well as a head coach for San Diego Sol, Coach Armstrong will be also the special events director for the program.
Denise Bennett
Denise BennettCoach
Coach Bennett graduated from Santana High School where she led her team to two CIF championships and two league championships. She also earned her team’s MVP award for 2 consecutive years. Bennett played collegiate basketball at Cuyamaca where she earned First Team All-League and was voted her team’s Defensive Player of the Year. She later transferred to Grossmont College and was again selected to All-League honors. She earned a masters degree in Sociology at San Diego State University. She was the Head Varsity Coach at Torrey Pines High School where in her three years has won two Palomar Championship League titles as well as the team playing in the California State Playoffs all three years. She is currently the assistant coach at San Diego Christian College.
Spatticus Harris
Spatticus HarrisCoach
Originally from Toronto, Canada Coach Harris came to California to attend San Diego Christian College. He played all 4 years at SDCC leading the Hawks to 2 National Championships (NCCAA). He earned 1st team All American honors and graduated with a degree in Kinesiology. Harris went on to coach at both SDCC and Cathedral Catholic High School. He is currently a full time coach for San Diego Sol. Coach Harris is married to Coach Jennie Harris and they have three children. Harris is our camp and clinics Head Coach and his skill and enthusiasm have contributed significantly to the growth of these two programs.
Shawn Lasalita
Shawn LasalitaCoach
Coach Lasalita graduated from Clarkson University in New York with a degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He played basketball for four years, winning a league title and making it to the NCAA tournament. Raised in San Diego, he attended Francis Parker High School where he helped lead the team to a school best 28-4 record. He was selected 1st-team Coastal South and was chosen to play in the 2007 San Diego All-Star game. He also holds the record for most three-point field goals made at his high school. In addition, he was a varsity volleyball player winning 3 CIF championships. He coached the boy’s freshman team at Cathedral Catholic High School.
Jullian Ota
Jullian OtaCoach
Coach Ota was a three sport athlete (basketball, football, and track) in high school while posting a 3.5 GPA. In his junior year, he helped lead his basketball team to its most successful season in the past decade as they posted a 22-6 record. As a quarterback, Ota led the team in all-purpose yards and touchdowns in his senior season and was voted team MVP. Coach Ota graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Comparative Literature. He was the Head Assistant Varsity Coach at Torrey Pines High School where in his three years has won two Palomar Championship League titles as well as the team playing in the California State Playoffs all three years.He is currently the girl’s assistant varsity coach at Cathedral Catholic High School.
Jackie Turpin
Jackie TurpinCoach
Coach Turpin graduated from UC Davis where she played basketball for four years, leading the team in assists, rebounds, steals and points. She won Davis’ outstanding Female Athlete of the Year for her performance not only in basketball but also track and field. She is originally from the San Diego area, having attended Santana High School, where she led her team to 2 San Diego Section titles and 3 Grossmont League titles. In high school, she received Grossmont League MVP honors and the Sportsmanship Award. She is currently the Head Varsity Girls Coach at Cathedral Catholic High School.
Jonathon McCaskill
Jonathon McCaskillCoach
Coach Jonathan McCaskill (mick-cas-skill) has been coaching the game of basketball for well over 30 years. He is currently the JV Head Coach & Varsity Asst. Coach at Clairemont High School, girl’s program. Since being added to the Clairemont staff the girls have made the playoffs 3 years in a row, going as far as the semi-finals 2 straight years. Prior to joining the Clairemont staff, Coach McCaskill was the Head Varsity Coach at Foothills Christian High School. There he turned that program around in 4 years. Taking the girls to the CIF Finals in 2014. Coach McCaskill brings a wealth of experience to the Sol family and a willingness and desire to teach young people the discipline and skills to not only play the game of basketball but excel at the sport. His daughter also participated in Sol during her high school years.
Matthew Vaughn
Matthew VaughnCoach
Raised in San Diego, Coach Vaughn went to Scripps Ranch High School where he averaged 24.4 points per game as a senior and was recognized as one of the Top Seniors to watch in the State of California. Coach Vaughn went on to play basketball at Colorado Christian University and graduated with a degree in Business Management. As a collegiate senior he was selected as pre-season player of the year, 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-American. As a graduating senior Coach Vaughn held the record for most points, assists and steals, of which he continues to hold the record for assists and steals and averaged over 50% for FG and 3 pointers. Post collegiately Coach Vaughn played professionally in China, Belgium, Germany, South America and Mexico. He most recently played for the 2-time conference champions Sol Men’s ABA team.
Coresha Wright
Coresha WrightCoach
Coach Wright is a graduate of Serra High School where she was a three sport Varsity athlete (volleyball, basketball and track). She continued on to play collegiate basketball at Mesa College where she completed her associates degree in psychology. Coach Wright is part of the dynamic father-daughter coaching duo at her Alma Mater Serra High School. She is the Head Junior Varsity and Assistant Varsity Coach alongside her father and fellow San Diego Sol Coach Corey Wright Sr. Serra High School Lady Q’s finished the 2016-2017 season with the best finish in program history as the 2017 Southern California Regional Runner ups. Coach Wright is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration at Grand Canyon University.

Administration

Tony Allen
Tony AllenFounder and CEO
Coach Allen was the coach of the original San Diego Sol women’s basketball team which compiled a record of 28-3 in the 1997-98 season, including a re-match win against the Chinese Jr. National Team. This Sol team was also the 1997 NWBL Regional Champion and National Runner Up. He has been a personal and sports fitness trainer and coach for over 30 years. His clients and teams have won numerous awards, titles and championships at every level from recreational to the professional. Coach Allen is the foundation of our club and his philosophies and high standards keep all the staff striving to be their best.
Amy Cleveland
Amy ClevelandClub President
Coach Cleveland was an original member of the Sol women’s team. She played professionally in Germany for two seasons and was the conference’s 3rd leading scorer one of those seasons. She set 21 individual records, including the career scoring record, season scoring record and game scoring record while playing at Claremont McKenna College. She earned Conference honors all 4 years as well as All American Honors her senior season. Coach Cleveland was inducted into her college’s Hall of Fame. Cleveland is responsible for the daily operations of the club and directs all new major initiatives.
Jennie Harris
Jennie HarrisVice President
Coach Harris was a member of the original Sol women’s basketball team. Harris earned a scholarship to San Diego Christian College to play both volleyball and basketball. Coach Harris captained her collegiate volleyball team to the National Championship her junior year. She was also a four year captain for her basketball team. During her senior year she led the nation in rebounding, averaging 18 per game. She graduated from SDCC receiving a degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education. Harris directs all of Sol’s leagues and tournaments and is integral to the success and growth of the club.

Consultants

Dean Brunson
Dean BrunsonBasketball Consultant
Brunson’s coaching background spans four decades as Ass’t and Head coaching duties at Middle School, High School, College, and AAU levels of basketball, in both male and female competition. His work has featured numerous league & district titles, resulting in a plethora of post-season play opportunities, resulting in appearances at state tourneys & national tourneys, a litany of school record breaking seasons, a couple national scoring leaders, one national title, and four Coach-of-the-Year awards (and over 550 wins). Coach Brunson’s approach to the game is based on unselfish play, within a relentless end-to-end attack in both directions.

Bachelor’s degree — University of Central Florida
Masters degree — Western Kentucky University
married fellow Nebraskan and high school sweetheart Cindy Hellerich and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September
…children Rebecca and Scott both serve our country as US Naval officers — both were collegiate athletes in their respective sports
…oldest grandchild Carol Schroeder, recent Sol “graduate”, set 3 dozen school records at a local high school, was named San Diego All-CIF, and now plays college hoops locally.

Mark O'Connor
Mark O'ConnorBusiness Consultant