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SW MN Stars welcomes Coaches Van Kooten and Johnson

03/01/2014, 7:00am CST
By Ryan and Ross Reitsma

16s Team Coaches

As we enter our 8th season this coming spring and summer, the SW Minnesota Stars Directors is excited to welcome several coaches to our staff this year.  Having a great coaching staff that enjoys developing players along with building solid relationships with players in our program built on integrity and trust is at the core of why we exist. 

Lance Johnson will be joining our staff this year as a 16s team coach.  Lance, 2013 Grand Valley State University (MI) graduate, joined the Dordt College Defender coaching staff prior to the 2013-14 season.  Johnson began coaching at high school level when entered college at Grand Valley State.  During the year as head assistant coach at Spring Lake High School, their season was marked by a school record 21 wins and the school’s first district title in 18 seasons.  Johnson also has focused player development experience Impact Basketball Academy (Nevada), where he was assisting in player development workouts for NBA, international and collegiate players.  We are very excited to have Lance join the SW Minnesota Stars Coaching Staff.  Johnson states, “I am honored to be a part of such a high character organization that takes pride in doing AAU basketball the “right way”.  I am excited to begin working with the talented group of athletes and coaches in the program and looking forward to the new challenge of developing players to be impact player in high school and beyond.”  Lance will be a great asset in player development.

Justin Van Kooten, currently operations director of Sioux Falls Skyforce, D-League Affiliate of Miami Heat, will be returning to SW MN Stars staff after being involved on multiple levels over the past few years.  The Pella, IA native is excited to working with the players whom he has established relationships with in the past.  Justin has also served as assistant coach with the Roosevelt High School basketball program in the summers of 2011 and 2012.  Justin was an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Baltic High School during the 2011-12 season.  A four-year member of the basketball team at Dordt College, Van Kooten is also a part-time basketball specialist at Sanford POWER TIBBS Basketball Academy.  Justin brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to the game and our program.  We are excited to have him back on our staff in this capacity.

We believe both of these coaches will do a great job in contributing to the mission of our basketball program and truly care about young men in the game of life.  Without having quality men who are also coaches, we would not be able to meet our goals of having a positive impact on our players through the game of basketball.  All of our coaches come with experience with the game at collegiate level and know what is required at the next level.

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