The Lay-Up team is grateful to live and work on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations and acknowledges our role as a treaty person to reconcile and rebuild the relationship between indigenous peoples and settlers on Turtle Island.
Brittania Brown joined Lay-Up as a Head Coach in October 2020. Brown earned a Bachelor of Physical & Health Education from University of Winnipeg in April 2017 and a diploma in Sports Business Management from Humber College in August 2019. Her prior professional experience includes Toronto Raptors Basketball Community Development Coach and Official’s Education & Domestic Development Intern at Canada Basketball. She has an extensive background in both playing & coaching basketball. She competed with the Toronto Triple Threat Rep Basketball Club, University of Winnipeg (U Sport formerly CIS) and Humber College (OCAA). Passionate about youth and community development, she teaches life lessons through sport by facilitating community sport programs.
Osama Khaled joined Lay-up in January of 2021 as a Head Coach looking to make an impact on the community. Osama is completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Economics at York University. He brings a rich background in basketball, having played AAU for Hoops Canada Elite for 2 years before discovering he has a future in coaching. Osama’s coaching experience includes 3 years for Hoops Canada, where he was also the Director of Training for the program. Osama loves building personal connections while mentoring kids and teaching them the game of life through basketball.
Director of Development
Heini (she/her) joined Lay-Up in July 2021 and is the Director of Development. A fundraising professional, her career has focused on working with non-profit youth-serving organizations that support positive development through sport and recreation. In addition to her role at Lay-Up, she is currently the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at NUTMEG Soccer. She graduated with an M.A., English Literature and Classical Studies from the University of St Andrews, Scotland and subsequently earned an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Manager of Outreach and Engagement
Marion Mendoza started with Lay-Up as a volunteer coordinator in the summer of 2017. She joined full-time in February 2018 to lead outreach strategies, community engagement and registration-focused initiatives at Lay-Up. Her favourite part of Lay-Up is watching participants challenge coaches to one-on-one games – the confidence they have built to challenge a coach and their reactions whenever they make a shot, or better yet, win a game. Marion previously worked in the hospitality & event industries and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from St. Scholastica’s College, Manila and a Post Graduate Certificate in Event Management from Centennial College.
Director of Programs and Operations
Chris Penrose joined LAY-UP as Director of Programs and Operation in November of 2019. Having worked in roles in the non-profit sector and media for close to 20 years, Chris brings a unique perspective to the ways that creativity and culture intersect with the lived realities in communities across the GTA. System-thinking is at the core of his approach to youth programming, having completed a Masters Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo. Chris understands life through basketball analogies and sees sport as a gateway to positive impact in every area of life. He is also a writer and creative producer working across the creative industries, including founding the CONVENE conversation series and podcast and exhibiting his first photography installation, PORTRAIT OF A STREET, which was a part of Nuit Blanche in 2018 inside of Scarborough Town Centre.
Deidre Beaumont first joined Lay-Up as a part time coach in 2015 when she was a student-athlete on the women's basketball team, and completing her studies at both Humber College and Keyano College. An established member of the basketball community in the GTA, Deidre played for Scarborough Blues and she is a former coach with Basketball World Toronto and Raptors youth basketball camps. Officially a Head Coach with Lay-Up since October 2020, Deidre is excited about connecting with, and mentoring the youth in the neighborhoods that have raised her.
John Gerongco first joined Lay-Up as a part time coach in September of 2019. What was originally just a “fun job with a friend”, quickly became a new found passion in blending youth development and sports. John’s experience at the provincial level in tennis, as well as his volleyball background, gives Lay-Up a unique multi-sport coaching perspective that reaches beyond basketball. Being the oldest of an immigrant family with 9 children, John is the perfect example of someone who would not have had the resources to participate in sports had it not been for programs like Lay-Up. Now officially a Head Coach, John hopes to provide comfort, and instil confidence to the youth through sports, the way it did for him.
Director of Basketball Operations
Micaella joined Lay-Up as Basketball Operations Manager in February 2020 and has been promoted to Director of Basketball Operations in November 2021. She brings playing experience at the provincial and national level, as well as in the NCAA at the University of Minnesota where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology. She went on to Kansas State University to complete her Master's in Counseling and Student Development while coaching and assisting in recruiting operations with the Wildcats. Since then, she played professionally overseas and has worked as a National Scout identifying elite talent across Canada.
Lead Graphic Designer
Sebastein joined lay-up as their lead Graphic Designer in September 2020. Sebastein is a creative based in Toronto, Canada. Currently mastering his craft, Sebastein focuses on art direction, graphic design, visual design. As a creative, Sebastein is determined to transform any visual concept into a visual language.
Dan Hula joined Lay-Up as Executive Director in June 2019. Dan comes to Lay-Up with not only a passion for the sport and power of basketball but also for providing a voice to underserved communities in need. Dan brings with him 10+ years of experience, knowledge, and skills in the non-profit/charitable organization sector. He most recently served as Executive Director of the Chicago based agency Lincoln Park Community Services, a comprehensive social service program aimed at housing and transforming the lives of adults experiencing homelessness. Dan holds a Masters degree in Social Work from DePaul University in Chicago where he and his family originate from. Dan’s favorite part of Lay-Up programming is learning more about each youth participant. Every camper has an incredible personality and story to tell.