About our Organization
Arizona Beast Basketball was created with a vision for young athletes who desire to learn and play the game of basketball on a competitive level. Along with playing the game they love; our young athletes are learning life skills after basketball. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere with excellent coaching and high-level competition for young athletes looking to improve their skills. Our organization provides family-friendly entertainment, professionalism, and integrity. We will be the only professional sporting event in the Chandler/Gilbert area. It is with great hopes that our games are not just basketball games but more of a way to bring the community together for a night of fun, raffle prizes and food trucks.
Thank you for your support and excitement! We hope you are looking forward to watching our Beast's dominate the floor this 2018 - 2019 season!
History of the American Basketball Association
The American Basketball Association (ABA) is a men’s professional basketball league. The league has grown to become the largest professional sports league in the world! In 1999 Joe Newman and Richard P. Tinkham founded the league. It is the re-launch of the original ABA which merged with the NBA in 1976. Tinkham co-founded both the original ABA and the Indiana Pacers. Joe Newman was the CEO of Joe Newman Advertising, Inc. and Alliance Broadcasting Group, Inc. The ABA was established in 1967 and merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976 [New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets]. Some of the ABA notable players where: Julius Irving (Dr. J) George Gervin (The Iceman), Ricky Barry, Moses Malone along with, many others that came to be NBA players. The ABA was reformed in 2000 in partnership with the NBA and has been operating in harmony for the past 16 years.
Meet the Staff
Leader of Success
Derrick Graham is a native of South Bend IN. He graduated from Fort Hays State University with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. Also a Masters at the University of Phoenix. Currently, he is working on his Doctorate in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management. While at Fort Hays, Derrick was awarded First Team All American and went on to play professional basketball internationally and in the ABA. He was recently inducted into Washington High School's Hall of Fame and still holds the record as the all-time leading scorer.
Mentoring & Guidance
Will Johnson is also a native of South Bend IN. He graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Business and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Will is a 15 year former Police Officer with the South Bend Police Department. He has experience as a Polygraph Examiner, Detective and School Resource Officer. He also was a Law Enforcement Instructor and Trainer in areas of Officer Safety, Ethics and Personal Development. While servicing the city of South Bend, he was the head coach for both Boys Basketball and Girls Basketball along with Track and field for four years. Will was also the Assistant Girls Basketball coach at James Whitcomb Riley High School. Will was a four-year Varsity Basketball High School player and graduated from Riley High School.
VP of Operations
Jen is an entrepreneur with 15 years of Accounting, Marketing and Human Resources experience. She was born and raised in Southern California. She has a strong passion for basketball but an even stronger passion for philanthropy. This season, she plans to have our team out in the community giving back as often as we can.
Eleana Johnson is also a native of South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Criminal Justice. Eleana is a graduate from St. Joseph’s High in South Bend, where she made the varsity basketball team as a freshman and joined the varsity tennis team her sophomore year. Eleana was the Assistant Coach for James Whitcomb Riley High School Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball Team and the Head Coach for their Freshman team for 2 years. She was also the Head Coach for the Junior Varsity and the Assistant Coach for the Varsity Boys Basketball team of Lasalle Academy for 3 years where they reigned undefeated and won the championship. Eleana enjoys encouraging others to meet their fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
We'll see you at the game!