Basketball

Tommies add two assistants to men’s basketball staff amid Division I transition – Twin Cities

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St. Thomas men’s basketball added its first two full-time assistants in program history Thursday during its transition to becoming a Division I program this fall.

Tommies head coach Johnny Tauer added Mike Maker and Gameli Ahelegbe to his staff.

Ahelegbe is a Tartan High School grad who played college basketball at Minnesota State Mankato. He also served as an assistant coach for a season with Minnesota State, and then with Concordia-Moorhead.

He was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of North Dakota for three seasons, and worked for the past seven years at the University of South Dakota.

“Gameli’s connections in the Twin Cities, the broader state, and the region will also be instrumental in our recruiting efforts,” Tauer said. “His skills in recruiting, coaching defense, working with posts, and player development will be instrumental to our success.”

Maker served as head coach at Marist, a Division I program, from 2014-18 after leading a Division III program at Williams College in Massachusetts for six seasons.

Maker has coached for 30-plus years and served as an assistant at Dartmouth, Samford, West Virginia and Creighton. He has worked under prominent college head coaches such as John Beilein and Dana Altman.

In a statement, Tauer said he believed the Tommies added “one of the top offensive minds in college basketball.”

“Mike’s teams have always played with passion, tenacity and skill, and we are so fortunate to hire a coach with his values, knowledge and passion,” Tauer said. “His passion for the game, his knowledge, and his commitment to helping student-athletes develop as players and people make him a perfect fit for St. Thomas and our basketball program.”

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