Upward Stars Nashville

COACHES: WINTER BA FLIGHT LEAGUE 2019/2020

Lance Akridge - 5th Grade Boys (BLUE TEAM)

Favorite Verse: 2nd Chronicles 16:9 - "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

Experience: Club/AAU Basketball (6 years); Travel Baseball Coach (6 years); Middle School Basketball (Lyon County-KY); Murray State University (Basketball Manager)

Personal Fact: Graduate of Murray State University-B.S. in Business (1991); West Virginia University-Master of Science Sport Management (1992); Certified Public Accountant (1995); Married for 20+ years (Wife - Andrea; 3 Children - Bryce, Luke, and Elise)

Why I love to coach: I love teaching life lessons through sports: Perseverance, Discipline, Teamwork, Selflessness, Mindset of Competing, etc. I enjoy striving to bring out the best in each athlete, motivating each player to be "the best he/she can be!" I enjoy the responsibilities of teaching young athletes that life is MORE THAN basketball and promoting Christ through sports.

Luke Brasel - 4th Grade Girls (BLUE TEAM)

Favorite Verse: Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Experience: Playing: Battle Ground Academy (1997-2001); Coaching: Head Baseball Coach Franklin Road Academy MS (2007-2013); Assistant at Brentwood Middle (2006); Youth Basketball (Coach 2016-Present; current Upward Stars 4th Grade Girls Winter Team Coach; Youth Softball (2015-Present)

Personal Fact: I coached and taught for eight years before opening a counseling practice. I now counsel and write to help adults, couples, and adolescents recover themselves, know God, and live with heart.

Why I love to coach: The hardest part of leaving my first career was saying goodbye to coaching. I love the game, I love to teach, and I love building and encouraging people. Coaching involves all three. Sports creates the context for us to push ourselves, and in doing so we experience our gifts and limitations. Competition has a way of revealing who we are and giving us the opportunity to grow our character. The chance to engage kids in these moments and share the love, grace, and delight of Christ is, win or lose, a win-win.

Callie Rae Cook - 4th Grade Girls (WHITE TEAM) & 5th Grade Girls (BLUE TEAM)

Favorite Verse: Psalm 18:2 - "The Lord is my ROCK, my FORTRESS, my DELIVERER, my GOD, my STRONGHOLD, in whom I take refuge, my SHIELD, the GLORY of my salvation, and my HIGH TOWER."

Experience: Washington High School Varsity: Softball, Volleyball, Tennis and Basketball; College Basketball - 2014/2015 North Central College - 2015/2016 Monmouth College; College Tennis - 2015 Monmouth College; Coaching - youth basketball (1 year AAU/Travel); Upward Stars Coach 2018 - Present.

Personal Fact: Graduated, Bachelor of Arts, Monmouth College 2018; Major- Business Administration; Currently, Assistant Club Director at Upward Stars Nashville & the Battle Ground Academy High School Women's Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach

Why I love to coach: I know that I will not change the world by coaching. Jesus will do that. I can, however, change the world for one player. So if that one player sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute of my time spent.

Dan Edwards - 5th Grade Boys (WHITE TEAM)

Verse: Habakkuk 3:19 " The Sovereign Lord is my Strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and will raise me above New Heights."

Expereience: I played 2 years college basketball ( NAIA ) at William Tyndale College ( Farmington Hills, MI ) I have coached multiple teams such as varsity girls , 5th and 6th grade boys, and elementary ages boys for many different recreation centers. Also, I am the Founder of Battle3on3, which is a sports ministry that embraces community with the sports of basketball and soccer.

Personal Fact: Graduated from University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Communication Management.
Married to my college sweetheart for 18 years. 3 Boys ( 7 and twin 4 years old ) who came to us by their amazing story of adoption.

Why I love to coach: I Love coaching because it gives me a responsibility to create and mold these young athletes into respectful and well-balanced individuals so that they use their gifts and talents outside of the gym. It also gives me a great chance to teach the characteristics and fundamentals of what has been taught to me by my amazing coaches. But most importantly to develop them into Godly individuals and to be disciple of Christ.

Andrew Johnson - 4th Grade Boys (BLUE TEAM)

Favorite Verse: Proverbs 2:2 - "Turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding."

Experience: Santa Rosa Junior College Basketball Manager (2013-2014), Columbia State Basketball Manager/Assistant Coach (2015-2016), Basketball Skills Coach at Life Time Fitness (2017-2018), Belmont Basketball Manager (2016 - 2018).

Personal Fact:

Why I love to coach: I absolutely love the sport of basketball, and love to influence and help others. Growing up I had many coaches who impacted my life in so many ways and I hope to be able to have that same type of impact. There is nothing greater than watching kids grow and mature into better basketball players and better people.

JT Jones - 6th Grade Boys

Favorite Verse: Romans 8: 38 - " And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love."

Experience: Head JV and Assistant Girls Basketball Coach for White House High School (2018-2019); Upward Stars Boys (2018-present) ; Played Basketball for the University of Valley Forge (2013); Welch College (2014-2018) - 3 year captain and scored over 1700 points.

Personal Fact: Graduated from Welch College (2018)-Majored in Business Administration; Currently in Masters of Teaching program at Welch College. Currently, a Middle School Educator at The Edison School in Gallatin, Tennesse. Also, the Head Varsity Girls and Middle School Coach for Christian Community School.

Why I love to coach: Basketball has always been a love of mine. It has always kept me out of trouble and always gave me something to work for. My high school coaches made a huge difference in my life. Every coach, over the years, shaped me into the man that I am today. I have a passion for basketball and a passion for kids. Just as my coaches impacted my life, I too hope that I might impact a player's life. I always had a dream of playing pro ball, but my biggest dream is helping kids pursue their goals and dreams. I am also a believer, and basketball gives me the platform to be able to share the gospel with kids.

Garrett Smith - 4th Grade Boys (WHITE TEAM)

Favorite Verse: Psalms 91:1: He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Experience: Middle School Basketball 9 years - ( 4 as JV coach at Brentwood Middle and 5 as Head Coach at Heritage Middle; Williamson County Schools ) , Travel Basketball 4th grade I year.

Personal Fact: Married with 3 children , Teach robotics, Big Virginia Tech Fan, Graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Radford University-VA, and Masters of Administration from Grand Canyon University-AZ.

Why I love to coach: I love to coach, to help young players understand the game of basketball and how to strategize and plan an attack. I believe this teaches them how to attack problems in life. Make a plan, adjust the plan, execute the plan. When they can keep Christ in the center of all their plans then they will never truly lose.