Our Team

The Illinois Basketball Academy coaching staff is second to none.  We have the area’s best coaches along with some of the area’s best former players on our staff.

The IBA includes staff members that have played high school, college and professional basketball.  Most of our coaches have coached at the high school level and beyond. Although some of our coaches may be fathers, they are all more than qualified to coach travel basketball. We distinguish ourselves from other programs in the area and rec programs with the exceptional staff we have.

If you are interested in joining our staff please contact Info@ibahoops.com .  Applications are available.



Craig Veselik

Founder & Director

IBA was created in 2003 by Naperville-area native Craig Veselik.

His vision was to establish a basketball program for the youth of Illinois. Having been involved in youth athletics in Illinois for over 15 years, Coach Veselik has helped hundreds of kids go on to play collegiately.

Over the years, he has taught and mentored various division 1 athletes and helped build them not only as players but also as citizens. Coach Veselik, with his hands on approach and knowledge of basketball, has been one of the most consistent and successful coaches around.

He has won AAU State Titles on both the boys and girls sides and has numerous national titles to his credit.

Eric Samuelson

Director of Basketball Operations

Eric has coached all over the Chicagoland Area for the past 12 years.  He has coached young boys and girls from 4th grade all the way to the Collegiate level.  Eric has worked with programs such as the Barrington Youth Basketball Association, Full Package Athletics, and Shamrock Basketball.  Eric has always been an instrumental part of each and every program he has been involved in.

Eric played his High School Basketball at Maine West High School where he was a 4-year Varsity Basketball stand-out.  He received All-Area, All-Conference, and All-State Honorable Mention Awards during his senior season.  Eric played his College basketball at North Park University (Chicago).

Eric lives in Cary, IL. with his wife, Carolyn and four daughters, Brooklyn, Bailey, Brynn and Briella

Dave Groharing

Facility & Camp Director / Coach

Coach Groharing is IBA’s Camp Director and oversees the facility. Before joining IBA, he coached AAU basketball for Velocity and Naperville Rockets. For several years, he was the lead instructor and coach for Strictly Shooting, Inc. shooting camps out of Naperville.

  • North Central College – 1st Team All-Midwest, All Conference
  • Lewis University – 2nd Team All Conference
  • Finished Top 10 Nationally for 3pt Field Goal Percentage
  • College of Dupage – 1st Team All Region, All Conference
  • Naperville North HS – 1992 1st Team All Area, All Conference and Sectional Finals.

Contact Dave by phone (630) 561-4706

Troy Johnson

Co-Director of The Illinois Stars

Coach Troy has served as co-director of The Illinois Stars for the past 4 years.


Coaching Experience

  • 20 years Woodridge Jefferson Jr. High Boy’s Basketball Coach
  • 20 years of AAU Basketball Coaching/ Recruitment Experience including work with the Illinois Wolves & Illinois Warriors programs.
  • 3 years Lewis University, Asst. Coach
  • Coached at many basketball camps including Sonny Vaccaro’s ABCD Camp & Howard Garfinkel’s Five-Star National Camps
  • Volunteer Assistant at Downers Grove South and Addison Trail High Schools
  • Founder of Illinois Stars AAU Program


  • MA Ed Educational Leadership
  • MA Ed Instruction & Curriculum
  • Post-Masters Certification (Type 75) in Educational Administration
  • CPR/ AED Certification (yearly)

Coach Troy Johnson

Tim Knauf

Founder & Director

Coach Knauf has been coaching for over 14 years with the last 8 in the AAU circuit with the formation of Rockford Elite Basketball he founded at that time. This past year he coached the 16U Illinois Stars Elite in the Powerade circuit. His philosophy is to teach fundamentals and develop the skill set for grade school boys to be able to play the next level and beyond.

Coach Tim Knauf
Phone: 815-914-5447

Coach Knauf is NCAA certified.

Coach Tim Knauf
Phone: 815-914-5447

Jason Warner

Director of Basketball Operations

Coach Jason Warner is a Rockford, IL native and played basketball at Rock Valley College and Rockford University. Jason comes from a basketball family as his 2 brothers also played collegiate basketball. Jason coached his younger brother Scott at Rock Valley College where they made it to the National Tournament run together and finished 25-8. His younger brother Jeremy was an All-American at Rock Valley College and a member of the Lewis University’s All DECADES team.

He is married to Sarah Warner and they have three kids Jack, Luke and Kaitlyn.  They reside in Rockford, IL.

Jason loves coaching kids and the game of basketball to others. Jason has coached at multiple levels of basketball including youth basketball, middle school basketball, high school basketball, collegiate basketball and professional basketball. You will likely find Jason in a gym enjoying the game of basketball with kids in kindergarten all the way up to kids pursuing their dreams of professional basketball.

Coach Jason Warner

Phone: (815) 262.5995