The Basketball Development Group (BDG), established in the year 2000, is a 501-C3 NJ corporation dedicated exclusively to the development of amateur athletes in the sport of basketball. The club is based out of the South Jersey area and is a proud affiliate of the Middle Atlantic Association of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
BDG has been conducting professional basketball clinics, shooting sessions and tournaments since the year 2000 in the tri-state area. BDG is a highly successful organization that runs programs geared for 8 year old beginners to adults. The entire staff is committed to building self esteem and leadership skills in student athletes as well as providing a structured atmosphere of teamwork for adults and local corporations within the community. Over the years we have provided parents with a disciplined youth program that supports education through athletics. We have also helped parents and children deal with anger management and peer pressure.
Our Elite Travel Program, The South Jersey Jazz Basketball Club, has produced 100 college players over the years. In any given year we have 50+ varsity players playing on their high school teams. Our AAU travel teams have travelled from Orlando, FL to Las Vegas, NV showcasing their skills across the country.
Jim Gulla: Coach Gulla is the Founder and Director of the South Jersey Jazz Basketball Club and The Basketball Development Group which are dedicated exclusively to the development of amateur student athletes. Jim was a standout guard at Burke Catholic H. S. and Sacred Heart CYO (18.5 ppg) in Orange County, New York. Jim credits his High School coach Joe Bayno and his CYO coach Charlie O'Brien for instilling in him great fundamental skills, knowledge of the game and discipline.
Coach Gulla has been coaching at the AAU level and teaching fundamental basketball skills to student athletes since 1993. His AAU teams have finished as high as 8th in the country. Coach Gulla's teams have won over 20 local/regional AAU tournaments and have finished in 2nd place over 25 times. He has coached 2 New Jersey State championships and 4 national qualifying teams.
Before moving to South Jersey, Jim coached in Jersey City for the legendary AAU Program "The Jersey City Boy's Club". While there, he coached and worked with some of the highest rated players in the state such as: Dereck Caracter from St. Patrick's (TCU and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers), Corey Stokes from St. Benedict's (Villanova), Shelton Gibbs from St. Anthony's (Dominican Univ.) and Dereck Mercer from St. Anthony's (American Univ.).Coach Gulla has coached some outstanding players in South Jersey as well; Dereck Heckendorn from Haddonfield (Lafayette), Ricky Crews from Deptford (Monmouth Univ.), Teron Murray from Camden (Wesley), Justin Dempsey from Collingswood (Williamson College), Ryan Purdy from Triton (Stockton College), Sesso Ikpah from Westtown High (American International), Brad Cohen from Eastern (Lasalle), Billy Banks from Eastern (Rutgers-Camden) and Chris Gulla from Eastern (Wilkes Univ.) just to name a few.
Coach Gulla is a true believer of fundamental skills and hard work. He has been a head clinic instructor for basketball camps for over two decades. He prides himself in teaching fundamental skills and developing all levels of players from beginners to advanced. Coach Gulla has spent over a decade developing the Basketball Development Group's professional shooting program that utilizes a professional shooting gun that is used by all top collegiate programs.
Mr. Gulla is employed as a sales manager for the South Jersey Beverage Company in Berlin, NJ. He has served in the US Army National Guard and is a graduate of Orange County College, N.Y.
Ed Bond: Has been coaching at the AAU level and teaching fundamental basketball skills to student athletes since 2001. Coach Bond has coached one YBOA Mid-Atlantic regional championship team and one YBOA national qualifying team. Many of his players were high school standouts and have gone on to play in college. Coach Bond is the Assistant Director and the Public Relations Director of The South Jersey Jazz Basketball Club and the Basketball Development Group. Coach Bond enjoys coaching, teaching and mentoring young student athletes to reach their full potential and become responsible, respectful and productive young adults.
Coach Bond holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Marketing from Glassboro State College (Rowan University) and has been a Store Director for Acme Markets for over 20 years.
Chris Gulla: Coach Chris Gulla is now entering his 6th year with the Basketball Development Group, 2 of which he has spent as the Director of Clinics and Player Development. A former basketball letterman at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, NJ and at Wilkes University, Chris joined the Rutgers University-Camden coaching staff during the 2012-13 season and returns for his 3rd year with the Scarlet Raptors.
A four year letterman at Eastern, Chris ranked among the top 25 scorers in South Jersey (17.8 ppg) during his senior season, when he was selected as a member of the All-Olympic Conference Second Team and was chosen to participate in the prestigious Al Carino All-Star Game. Chris went on to play four seasons at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He started 43 games at three different positions throughout his college tenure. Graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics, Chris' maintenance of a 3.80 GPA earned him four consecutive seasons on the Middle Atlantic Conference Academic Honor Roll.
In May of 2013, Chris graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Camden with a Juris Doctor degree. While at Rutgers, he served as the President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and founded the school's First and Second Annual Sports Law Symposiums. Behind Chris' leadership, Rutgers-Camden attracted numerous high profile speakers and quickly emerged as host of one of the country's finest annual sports law discussions.
Gulla is an active member of the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) and the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD). Chris is licensed to practice law in both NJ & PA. He served a one-year term as Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Pugliese at the Superior Court of New Jersey and is currently employed by the Zeller and Wieliczko Law firm in Cherry Hill NJ.
Preston Wallace: Coach Wallace is Youth Mentor and former Assistant Director for the South Jersey Jazz Basketball Club and the Basketball Development Group. Coach Wallace played basketball at Overbrook High School for three years under the guidance of one of South Jersey’s legendary coaches Bill Lang. While at Overbrook he played on multiple playoff teams and a division championship team. He also spent four years in the Army and played for the base basketball team. Coach Wallace has been coaching SJ Jazz AAU travel teams since 2000. He has coached three teams for National Tournament competition. His AAU teams have won three Middle Atlantic Region tournaments, finished second 5 times and has coached two YBOA Mid- Atlantic regional second place finishers. Coach Gulla considers him a strong fundamental skills teacher who stresses discipline while teaching important life skills. He has coached some of South Jersey's best high school players who have gone on to play in college. He prides himself as being a skills instructor who teaches not just the game, but the philosophy of the game. Coach Wallace has been a clinic instructor and personal fundamental skills instructor since 2000. Coach Wallace is employed by Camden County College. As a former Assistant Club Director he will make appearances from time to time to assist the coaching staff with player development and guidance.