About Us

About Excel


Excel Sports Academy’s custom training environment offers everything a basketball athlete requires to succeed on the court and in life.

Excel provides student athletes with the ability to realize their full potential, on and off the court by offering:

• Exceptional integrated educational curricula
• An elite team of coaching and training professionals
• Mental skills training
• A complete nutritional focus, including proper hydration (Provided by Clinical Dietitian from Swedish Hospital)
• Leadership, communication and life skills development
• Top level local, regional and national competition
• Extensive club, league and tournament competition schedules
• Multiple training program options from academy to camps
• An inspirational environment that fosters individual, team and community success

Regardless of your skill level, whether your goal is short or long-term athletic development, our training systems prove you can master skills and achieve results.

Excel in Sports

Great athletes develop great routines and disciplines.  At Excel we will challenge each athlete to  play to his and her potential through coaching, practice, disciplined workouts and training.  Excel has assembled some of the top trainers in the Northwest to ensure that your student athlete will receive quality training and coaching.  By combining expert instruction and unique training methodologies, your student athlete will experience the best he or she can in athletic training, preparedness and competitive game play.

Excel in Academics

Grades matter…the staff at Excel Sports Academy is committed to the overall development of your student athlete. There is more to an athlete than simply his or her athletic abilities. Statistics show there are more individuals who receive college financial support for academics than for sports.

Excel in Life

The entire staff at Excel Sports Academy is committed to the overall development of the student athlete. We believe there is more to an athlete than simply athletic abilities. We focus attention on building and fostering character, attitude and strength of mind to form well-rounded student athletes. Life skills are not hereditary; they must be taught. With that in mind, we at Excel continue to develop our curriculum around building social and emotional fitness, helping to shape the complete person and student athlete.

Vision & Mission

mission-imgExcel Sports Academy is dedicated to providing youth with the fundamental physical and mental training needed to reach their highest potential as athletes and students of life. We put leadership principles to work, teaching strong moral values, character, academics and service on and off the court. Through teamwork and competition, our students learn and practice skills to hone their athleticism and social development. From beginner to advanced, our programs offer skills and experiences that help student athletes excel.



Alexandria Montgomery (Coach and Trainer)

alex b-ball 3

We are extremely excited about the opportunity to have this WNBA Star working closely with our youth specifically assisting Brandon Huntley with the 6th grade boys teams. Alex will also be conducting skill development clinics, both personal one on one and group training sessions .  Over the next several months before she returns to Pro competition, she will be working on plans with Excel to host Free Skills Clinics. The first clinic will be an all girls clinic in the month of November.

Alex is a local hometown girl from Tacoma and attended Lincoln High School. She attended college at Georgia Tech. After graduating, she was drafted by New York Liberty where she played from 2011-2013. She has played overseas in France, Brazil, and Israel. She is currently playing for the San Antonio Stars.


Coach Buck Buchanan – U17 Girls adidas Silver Gauntlet – Head Coach Excel Greyhounds High School Team

Coach Buck was the founder and coach of the Seattle’s inner city Rotary Lady Style and the Baden Elite program. Both programs were very successful select programs not only in the Pacific Northwest but also around the country. Buck’s goal is to secure scholarships for all student-athletes by providing opportunities for players to compete at the elite level and be seen by college coaches around the country.

I believe, “Every athlete that is successfully awarded a college scholarship through basketball and/or my coaching endeavors is a testimony of the importance I place on education and the value of producing top players because of my love for the game.”

 I have coached select basketball over 15 years and had success all across the country. I am one of the few coaches that have coached and won tournaments in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia and New York. I have also helped over 100 players achieve their goals of playing basketball at the college level. I currently have former players that I have coached playing in the WNBA and overseas. Not only have I coached select/AAU basketball; I have coached and won the 4A Washington State High School championship as a volunteer coach with Garfield Bulldogs. I also was the head coach of the WBCBL Seattle Express team that won the Northwest Championship both years that the league was in this area (2011 & 2012).

I am proud to be a member of the Excel Basketball program and help contribute to the Excel winning ways.

Coach Sampson 7th Grade Boys

Coach Sampson has coached several levels of Basketball for many years and is most fulfilled while teaching youth. He started off coaching youth Basketball in the Seattle area as the head coach for Seattle Ballers back in 1992. And felt privileged to have coached ex-NFL football and current NBA players during that time, such as Cory Dillon, Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Brandon Roy, Aaron Brooks, Nate Burleson, etc. “To witness the growth and maturity of these fine young athletes as they became professional adults as they followed their dreams was the most rewarding gift as a youth coach. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world…. Each level of coaching has given me many opportunities to become a better person as well as a coach and I’m humbled and grateful for each experience I’ve been blessed with.” These experiences have made me the coach and person that I am today. I would like to leave with a quote: “Perfetion is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” ~ Coach Sampson

Coach James Holmes – U15 & U16 Boys/ 4th Grade Girls

Coach James Holmes is a Tacoma native and a 9 year US Army Veteran. Coach Holmes graduated from the University of Washington majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. He has coached student athletes in youth recreational and competitive AAU basketball teams for over 10 years. Coach Holmes is a multi-sport High School athlete and has played collegiate soccer. He understands the unique challenges that student athletes face juggling between school, sports and life. Coach Holmes believes in teaching student athletes the importance of a balanced lifestyle. He is excited for the opportunity to work with fellow student athletes to help them become successful on and off the basketball court. Coach Holmes also tutors student athletes in the academy.

Coach Damien Gillespie Sr. – 4th/5th Grade Boys – 8th grade Boys (Black) – 8th Grade Boys (Grey) – Head Coach

Head Coach Zoe White – U15 & U16 Boys


Klarissa Wren (Administrative Assistant)

As an active teen, most sports came easy to me until I stepped onto the turf of an NCAA D1 program.

I was met with the challenge of training like an elite athlete rather than just simply playing the game.  Learning this new style of training was equally challenging as it was rewarding, I took the opportunity to learn from my various coaches and Internships, giving me exposure to collegiate and professional athletes  developing high level speed, agility and strength based programs. Over time I grew a desire to prepare future collegiate athletes to train at the level they aspire to compete. I have implemented my speed & strength programs as a trainer and coach working with premier high school athletes, NCAA Track Teams and NCAA Strength & Conditioning programs. In working with Excel I will bring a training program that will challenge athletes to grow, allowing them to maximize their potential on the court. I love the opportunity Excel gives young athletes to develop in life as well as sports.