Our team consists of a diverse group of coaches and supporters. We have chosen to develop a team of specialist coaches that communicate closely, educate themselves continuously and frequently, and stay updated with the development needs, challenges and opportunities of each athlete within the program.
The decision to build a coherent team of specialists came from the observation and plus-minus analysis of the commonly-seen practice of traditional basketball clubs in utilising ‘generalist coaches.’ With one team and one coach, the coach is in charge of all the tactical, technical, athletic and mental development. Frequently, the coach prefers one of these topics resulting in other key development areas being completely neglected. From observing these programs, we noticed that in the long run, it is the individual skill-set of the player that is neglected the most by the generalist coach.
Therefore, we set-up the Process whereby each team can work with a group of specialist coaches. Every week the players learn from different coaches who study, research and base their practices on the exact subjects that they are most passionate about. Players learn from experts and those who aspire to become leaders within their field. To work at the Academy, coaches maintain a daily study program to hold themselves accountable to the same standards that we expect from our players.
The connecting glue between the specialist coaches is communication. The Head Coach of an age-group shares observations with the skills trainer, the skills trainer with the strength coach, the shooting coach gives pointers to the one in charge of coordination and movement development, the physiotherapist shares valuable warm-up instruction with the players. Our aim to create a close-knit network of experts who use their knowledge and experience to support and energise the players.
Academy Director Joerik Michiels
Joerik was born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium. Passionate about skills training from a young age, he has spent close to a decade studying and gaining knowledge from a variety of coaches and basketball trainers all over the world.
Operations Director and Head Coach Tanner Brightman
Tanner was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and has served as Basketball Saskatchewan's High Performance Coach for eight seasons. This includes head coaching the 2017 Canada Games Team. In addition, Brightman is co-owner of Golden Ticket Sports.
Throughout his eight years of coaching with Basketball Saskatchewan’s Men’s High-Performance Program, Brightman has led teams between U14-U17. His most prominent head coaching gig was leading Team Saskatchewan at the 2017 50th Annual Canada Summer Games, compiling a 56-8 record over the four years of working with this group of athletes. Brightman became the youngest provincial team basketball coach in 2011 when he was an apprentice coach with the U14 Western Canada Games Team. Since 2016, Tanner Brightman has served as the Technical Lead for the Regina Community Basketball Association Board of Directors.
Tanner holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Regina (2016) and has been working at Luther College High School in Regina for the past three years prior to joining EA. Coach Brightman’s high school teams have had great success within Saskatchewan as well. While at Balfour Collegiate (2012-2017), Brightman was a part of two city finalist runner ups and two provincial fifth-place rankings while leading the Sr. Boys as both assistant and head coach.
During Brightman’s time at Luther, he took the Senior Men’s team to a provincial 5th place finish in 2019. As a player, Brightman was a part of two city championship wins, one provincial championship win, and one provincial 3rd place finish as a member of the Balfour Collegiate Redmen.
Tanner is no stranger to international athletics’ and athletes. Brightman served as Dean of Men at Luther College High School from August 2017 until June 2020. Luther College is one of Canada’s most prestigious private schools. Tanner’s primary responsibility was managing the day-to-day living and educational arrangements of nearly one hundred international dorm students. Not many, if any, basketball academies are fortunate enough to have someone with this experience in-house and on their staff. Students and their families trusted in Tanner Brightman and his staff to care for their children while living thousands of miles away from home in Canada. Tanner had direct responsibilities managing student health, study, wellness, financial, and personal information while students were living and studying abroad.
Tanner was born and raised in Regina, with a younger brother and an incredibly supportive family. Tanner is engaged to an amazing woman named Jess, and plan to get married in November of 2021. Tanner loves to play guitar, collect shoes, and travel the world.
Listen to Tanner speak about his journey through coaching and developing professional development on the following podcasts.
Watch Tanner in Action
Coach Tanner Brightman talks to Global Regina about our U17 boys heading to 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg #paceandspace #SetTheStandard
Performance Director Olivier Goetgeluck
Oliver has been working as a coach and teacher since 2011, when he founded Elite Athletes with Joerik Michiels. He researches the dynamics of psychophysical health in different contexts, looking at how we can develop themselves through a myriad of methods.
Oliver has been working as a coach and teacher since 2011, when he founded Elite Athletes with Joerik Michiels. Olivier researches the dynamics of psychophysical health in different contexts, looking at how human beings can develop themselves through a myriad of methods, both old and new. Elite Academy is the outlet through which Olivier shares his findings within the domain of the sports world.
Since 2015, Olivier has been closely connected to Greece-based human development platform “Fighting Monkey,” acting as an instructor for one of the most innovative organisations in the world focussed on the areas of physical and behavioural human performance. Goetgeluck’s aim is to teach athletes to enhance their recovery and well-being by becoming more closely connected, receptive and sensitive to their own body.
Within Elite Academy, athletes are fortunate to spend time with Olivier focussing on their athletic movement & coordination, in addition to breathing techniques and the mental side of the game.
Watch Olivier in Action
Head Coach Janka Debacker
Janka Debacker was the MVP of the European Championships twice as a youth player, playing for the Belgian Cats from U14 - U21’s. This led to a successful NCAA Division 1 Career at the University of Seattle.
Janka Debacker was the MVP of the European Championships twice as a youth player, playing for the Belgian Cats from U14 – U21’s. This led to a successful NCAA Division 1 Career at the University of Seattle. Following this, Janka returned to Belgium and has enjoyed a successful youth coaching career working at all levels of the game. This culminated in receiving the ‘Coach of the Tournament’ award in her rst year at the academy, coaching the team at the prestigious ‘Haris Invitational’ in Manchester.
Assistant Coach Michael de Boeck
Michaël de Boeck is a 22-year old basketball player who plays at BBC Stabroek in 2nd Provinciale. He is currently studying at the University of Antwerp. Besides that Michaël is our defensive coach for all our teams and the assistant coach of Alex Sarama’s U18 squad.
Michaël de Boeck is a 22-year old basketball player who plays at BBC Stabroek in 2nd Provinciale. He is currently studying at the University of Antwerp. Besides that Michaël is our defensive coach for all our teams and the assistant coach of Alex Sarama’s U18 squad. He’s also part of our skills training team.
Assistant Coach Jonas de Bruyne
Jonas de Bruyne is 28 years old and currently a sports teacher. He is a licensed B basketball trainer and he joined the Academy in 2018, working with several pro’s and Academy kids during the off-season.
Jonas de Bruyne is 28 years old and currently a sports teacher. He is a licensed B basketball trainer and he joined the Academy in 2018, working with several pro’s and Academy kids during the off-season. He formerly coached at Basics Melsele, working with U8 up until U14 players. He is currently a skills trainer for our Academy and leads several sessions per week for us.
Assistant Coach Mathieu Detiège
Communications Manager Tonio Caruso
Tonio Caruso is currently studying Sport Management at University in Turnhout to expand his knowledge of the sports world. Tonio’s role at Elite Academy is Communications Manager, taking care of all communication between players, parents and coaches to ensure transparency and communication operates at a world-class level.
Tonio also manages all social media for Elite Academy, in addition to assisting the Elite Academy Directors (Joerik, Alex and Olivier). He also acts as a skills trainer, assisting and leading skill workouts with our Academy youth players. Tonio’s playing career is still active, this season playing for T&T Turnhout in Division 1e Landelijke.