Bruins Director, Instructional Coordinator
In order to properly carry out the VABA Mission, the most critical element is the quality, competence, knowledge and experience of the coaches. A VABA coach is a mentor. All VABA Bruins coaches must be approved by VABA's Executive Director after having completed VABA's professionally-designed Coaches Training Core Curriculum. This includes fulfilling all classroom and on-court training sessions as well as undergoing coach evaluations in VABA's winter developmental league. We believe this is the only AAU basketball program in this area that not only requires such comprehensive standards, but conducts the training and evaluation sessions as well. All teams have a head coach, an assistant coach and a team manager.
VABA Bruins may field teams at all ages (including the rising 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grade levels. Bruins teams are formed provided a team has a VABA-trained coach and a roster of athletes.
Players and their families must be able to commit to the practice days and times, tournaments and games as a condition of being selected to the team. At the discretion of the coach, failure to follow through with the commitment may result in a player being removed from the team. Team members and parents must be positive and encouraging, supporting their coach and his/her philosophy, despite the many challenges one may face within a competitive setting.
VABA Bruins program costs will include team uniforms, gym reservation costs, and tournament entry fees. Fund-raisers are organized by participating coaches and are an option to help curb costs for families. Personal travel costs such as meals and lodging are not included.
VABA is committed to fostering participation in its programs without regard to a family's ability to pay. To that end, VABA offers scholarships and financial aid and encourages any otherwise interested athlete/family to contact VABA directly about scholarship availability. Click here for more information on the VABA Scholarship Program.
Yes! Bruins teams may adopt a more balanced schedule for athletes participating in their spring/fall sport (usually 1x/week practice). However, for athletes choosing to dedicate themselves solely to basketball, a more rigorous schedule may also be agreed upon. Schedules are determined by the coach and the interested families, but a solid commitment would be expected. Tournament scheduling (on weekends) is handled similarly.
AAU Div. II
2017 National 12th-place
AAU Div. II
National Runner's Up 2016
U11 Lady Bruins
The Virginia Basketball Academy's mission is to "build character and shape lives through the game of basketball." VABA seeks to carry out its mission in a number of ways, including through travel basketball teams that practice and compete in AAU tournaments throughout the calendar year. For those Bruins teams, grades 5 - 8, the VABA Bruins program is carried out in addition to the VDBL teams that practice and compete during the winter basketball season only.
The Bruins name originates with John Wooden, the long-time UCLA Bruins coach and the inspiration for VABA and VABA's philosophy of character development. Coach Wooden is widely regarded as the most successful coach in history, not only because of the record 10 National Championships his teams won, but most importantly because of his emphasis on moral and physical condition, doing one's best and team spirit. The VABA Bruins serve to carry on the legacy of his name by representing his team's mascot and the standards of excellence they will forever epitomize.
The coaches for each VABA Bruin team determine the roster size and make player selections. This is accomplished through either an open tryout or personal invitation. Interested athletes should inquire or request to participate on specific teams as soon as possible, and should communicate directly with VABA (firstname.lastname@example.org). Practice days and times and tournament schedules are determined by the coaches and communicated to the team's families when they sign up.