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.

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Chris Penrose

Executive Director

Chris Penrose is the Executive Director of Lay-Up and has been a part of the team since November 2019. Having worked in roles in the non-profit sector and creative industries for close to 20 years, Chris brings a unique perspective on the ways that creativity and culture intersect with the lived realities in communities across the GTA, and how basketball can tie all of that together. 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 the Culture of Basketball as the unifying force behind all of Lay-Up’s programs and priorities.

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Nana Adu-Poku

Lead Coach and Social Media Assistant

Nana Adu-Poku first joined Lay-Up as a Coach in 2019 and was promoted to Head Coach in 2021. He brings playing experience, as a former forward for the York University varsity basketball team. During this time, he gained a BSc, as well as a BEd. He is now an OCT with a rich history in youth sports programming, having served as Program Director and Camp Director with the Jays Care Foundation. His passion for basketball stems from the dedication to self-development the sport instills. He is currently completing his MEd with a Diploma in Urban Education at York. His goal as an educator is to teach youth that their potential to achieve their unique versions of success is unlimited, no matter where they come from.

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Brittania Brown

Head Coach

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.

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John Gerongco

Head Coach

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.

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Hanna Hall

Program Manager

Hanna Hall joined the Lay-Up team in the summer of 2022, and was promoted to a Program Manager role in September 2022. Hanna recently graduated after playing in the NCAA at the University at Buffalo, where she completed a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, while also studying Nutrition and Nonprofit Leadership. With experience representing the Canadian National team, playing overseas, and competing in a high-level basketball environment, Hanna’s unique perspective around the game led her to a new found passion within the Lay-Up organization. Her goal is to continue to break down barriers in sport, while providing the incredible opportunities, life lessons, and transferable skills the game gave her to everyone.

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Marion Mendoza

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.

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Micaella Riche

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.

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Osama Khaled

Head Coach

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.

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Deidre Beaumont

Head Coach

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 neighbourhoods that have raised her.

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Heini Davies

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.

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Sebastein Miller

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.

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Asha Mistry

Engagement and Operations Administrator

Asha Mistry first joined the Lay-Up Team as a Summer Camp Coordinator in 2019 and re-joined the team in 2021 to support Lay-Up in their transition to virtual programming, as the Virtual Program Administrator. Asha brings 10 years of program administration experience, as well as an educational perspective from her experience as an international educator. Asha’s love for learning and passion for paying it forward led her to graduate with a B.A and B.Ed. She recently earned her M.Ed from UofT's Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. Asha’s goal as part of the Lay-Up team is to always contribute all that she can to give our community and youth an informed, fun, passion-filled experience that develops a love for learning through sport.