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 was the assistant women’s basketball coach for Point Loma Nazarene University (NCAA Division II) for the 2016-2018 seasons. During his time at Point Loma, he assisted in the development of numerous All-Conference players and one All-American player. Before PLNU he coached at Trevecca Nazarene University (NCAA Division II) in Nashville, Tennessee. Armstrong 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. Coach Armstrong earned his bachelors degree from Lakeland in Exercise Science and also earned his Masters Degree in the Science of Management with a focus of organization and leadership. Coach Armstrong is originally from Santa Cruz, California where he was a two sport athlete in football and basketball. Coach Armstrong is the special events director as well as the College Placement Director for the Sol program.
Teshona Bennett
Teshona BennettCoach
Originally from Wisconsin, Coach Bennett brings an immense amount of knowledge and experience in coaching at both the high school and college level. She recently coached at San Diego Christian College and was in charge of player development and recruiting. Before coaching at SDCC, she was at Beloit College as the assistant women’s coach. She is now the head coach at Santa Fe Christian High School.

Coach Bennett has been a part of a winning tradition throughout her coaching and playing career. As an assistant coach for the Whitewater Whippets Girls Basketball program, Coach Bennett helped lead the team to an undefeated season and a State Championship in 2015. She played at UW-Whitewater Wisconsin, an NCAA D3 institution, and was a part of the NCAA Final Four.

She earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Coaching along with a Master’s of Education degree in Athletic Administration. She is married to her loving husband, Donte, and has a daughter who attended her first Sol basketball camp and made her first basket in the Sol gym.

Wayne Bernard
Wayne BernardCoach
Coach Bernard played professional basketball overseas for 15 years, playing in 6 different European leagues over the course of his career. He has played in Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel and Sweden. A knack for defending, Coach Bernard earned All-Defense and Player of the Year honors in Germany. While in Europe, he trained and coached middle and high school athletes. Coach Bernard earned a scholarship to attend Davidson College and achieved All-Conference honors, accumulated more than 1,000 points and made it to the 2002 NCAA Tournament. He is from San Diego and played high school basketball at Horizon High School. At Horizon, Bernard led his team to three consecutive CIF regional championship wins and also competed in the 1997 State CIF championship game. Recently retired, Coach Bernard joins Sol with hopes of developing basketball in San Diego and delivering his knowledge to all who want to further their basketball skills.
John Carpenter
John CarpenterCoach
Coach Carpenter joins Sol after 16 years of coaching club basketball in the San Diego area. He attended the University of California Riverside to play both basketball and baseball but left the basketball team shortly into the season to focus on baseball. He earned his degree in Information Technology with an emphasis in network engineering. Coach Carpenter is originally from St. Louis, Missouri where, during his high school career, he led his team in points and assists, while leading the team to consecutive conference championships during his junior and senior seasons.
Spatticus Harris
Spatticus HarrisCoach
Coach Harris is a full time coach for San Diego Sol. Harris is our Camps and Clinics Director and his skill and enthusiasm have contributed significantly to the growth and success of these programs. Coach Harris is married to Coach Jennie Harris and they have three children, all of who have grown up in the gym and play for the Sol program. Harris coached at San Diego Christian College and he is the assistant coach at Cathedral Catholic High School which won the 2019 CIF Open Division. Coach Harris played on our inaugural San Diego Sol Men’s Professional ABA team that won the 2011 Southern California Division Championship. Originally from Toronto, Canada Harris came to California to attend San Diego Christian College. He played all four years at SDCC leading the Hawks to two National Championships (NCCAA). He earned 1st team All-American honors and graduated with a degree in Kinesiology.
Nate Howard
Nate HowardCoach
Coach Howard is the assistant boys varsity coach for Christian Heritage High School. Originally from the east coast, Howard was raised in San Diego, graduating from Christian Heritage where he was a 3-year varsity starter. Howard’s passion for basketball began in the 8th grade when he fell in love with the game. A student of the game, he is constantly studying and learning from the many talented coaches at Sol. Coach Howard believes that the physical aspects are a small portion of the game; he strives not only to improve youth basketball skills but also to promote excellence in character. Howard is an integral part of Sol’s after school care program.
Shawn Lasalita
Shawn LasalitaCoach
Coach Lasalita is a full time coach and administrator at San Diego Sol in charge of our IT and social media departments. He has coached a variety of youth and high teams including our ABC/Sol German All-Star summer teams. He has also coached the boy’s freshman team at Cathedral Catholic High School. 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, Lasalita 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. Lasalita 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.
Park Masterson
Park MastersonCoach
Coach Masterson coaches at Rancho Bernardo High School. She was a four-year starter and senior captain for Macalester College Women’s basketball in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology. During college she played with USA Athletes International (USAAI) in Ireland. Native to San Diego, Coach Masterson attended Poway High School and played on the San Diego Sol Elite Team. She was a three-sport varsity athlete (basketball, cross country and track) and led Poway to 20 plus wins each season. She is ranked in the top 5 in Poway High School history for shooting percentage in a single season at 53%. She helped her team to the CIF semi-finals her junior and senior years and was selected to the Union-Tribune All-Academic team. Masterson is a Lab Technician at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Jonathon McCaskill
Jonathon McCaskillCoach
Coach Jonathan McCaskill (mick-cas-skill) has been coaching basketball for well over 30 years. He coaches at Serra High School. He has a history of turning programs around including Clairemont HS where he helped them qualify for the playoffs three years in a row, making the semi-finals two of those years. Continuing the trend at Foothills Christian HS, he took them to the CIF Finals in 2014. Coach McCaskill brings a wealth of experience to the Sol family and the 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 participated in Sol during her high school years.
Jullian Ota
Jullian OtaCoach
Coach Ota has been an integral part in developing and growing our boys program. Coach Ota was the assistant varsity coach at Torrey Pines High School where, during his three-year tenure, they won two Palomar Championship League titles and competed in the California State Playoffs all three years. He also coached at Cathedral Catholic High School. Coach Ota graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Comparative Literature. In high school he was a three-sport athlete (basketball, football and track). In his junior year, he helped lead his basketball team to its most successful season in a decade as the team 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.
Jackie Turpin
Jackie TurpinCoach
Coach Turpin has coached the San Diego Sol Elite Team for the last three seasons. She is the Head Varsity Girls Coach at Cathedral Catholic High School. In 2019, her Cathedral Catholic HS won its first Open Division Girls Basketball CIF Championship title. 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 Award for her performance in basketball and track and field. Turpin is originally from the San Diego area, having attended Santana High School, where she led her team to two San Diego Section CIF titles and three Grossmont League titles. Turpin won the Sportsmanship Award and was the Grossmont League Most Valuable Player.
Matthew Vaughn
Matthew VaughnCoach
Coach Vaughn played for the 2-time Southern California Champion San Diego Sol men’s professional ABA team. He played professionally in Belgium, China, Germany, Mexico and South America. Vaughn graduated from Colorado Christian University with a degree in Business Management. As a college senior he was pre-season Player of the Year and was selected as 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-American. During his career he set all-time records for most points, assists and steals. He still holds all-time records for assists and steals. 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 California.

Administration

Tony Allen
Tony AllenFounder and CEO
Coach Allen is the foundation of our club. His philosophies and high standards keep all the staff striving to be their best. 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 35 years. His clients and teams have won numerous awards, titles and championships at every level from recreational to the professional.
Amy Cleveland
Amy ClevelandClub President
Coach Cleveland is responsible for the daily operations of the club and directs all new major initiatives. 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.
Jennie Harris
Jennie HarrisVice President
Coach Harris directs all of Sol’s leagues and tournaments and is integral to the success and growth of the club. 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.

Consultants

Mark O'Connor
Mark O'ConnorBusiness Consultant
Mark O’Connor is a commercial real estate professional who for more than 30 years specialized in facility and site acquisition and disposition. His experience includes real estate development and the marketing of improved and unimproved property for sale and for lease on behalf of local and national clients. He is recognized as a top industrial sales producer. Involved in more than 300 real estate transactions, totaling more than 15 million square feet and more than 1,000 acres of land in excess of $150 million in consideration. Mark is passionate about youth sports, having a son who played club and high school basketball and a daughter who currently competes on the track and field team for Ranch Bernardo High School. Mark was integral in the acquisition of the new Sol facility in San Marcos and continues to help Sol with expanding opportunities in other geographic areas.