Finish Strong® Athletics is what it is, because of our trainer’s passion for sports, children and teaching. Each trainer has played basketball at a highly competitive level and understands that teaching the game is a privilege. We welcome all parents to share our passion and sit-in during our workouts.
In addition to the highly qualified staff, FSA keeps the athlete to coach ratio at our clinics to an astonishing 5:1. Maintaining that ratio is a goal of our program as we believe that each athlete deserves maximum individual attention.
Currently Kevin is in his 4th year working full-time as an Assistant Director for Camp Horseshoe and Head Director of Horseshoe Basketball Camp. In addition to his role at camp, Kevin is the head coach of the Highwood Hitmen basketball team and in his 11th year coaching for the Highwood Small Fry Program, a non-for-profit organization.
Kevin spent three years in charge of numerous youth sports programs for the Park District of Highland Park, as well as assuming the role of Highland Park’s feeder basketball coordinator. Coach Kaminsky also has experience at the high school level: he was a Varsity Assistant at Leyden High School in Franklin Park, IL, and has coached various AAU travel programs. From toddlers to varsity high school athletes, Kevin has excelled in building self-esteem and confidence amongst the next generation of young people. Coach Kaminsky’s dedication and commitment to children extends far beyond the basketball court.
While in high school at New Trier, Kevin was a three-sport varsity athlete as a sophomore. In regards to basketball, Kevin spent three years as a varsity starter for Coach Rick Malnati, during which time he lead the Trevians down state in 1996. He played college basketball at NCAA Division II Eckerd College in Florida and NCAA Division III Carthage College in Wisconsin.
Mike Trapani was the Director of Recreation for the City of Highwood for over 15 years. During his tenure, Mike and youth sports legend Marv Baker were responsible for re-establishing the Highwood baseball and basketball programs as some of the finest in the North Shore. Under his leadership, the Highwood All-Stars basketball program continued to flourish over the years as a league that always attracted many of the area’s finest players. His dedication and philosophies regarding youth sports have proven to be extremely effective. Coach Mike’s proven ability to connect with younger children (no matter what their skill level) and then teach the skills they will need to progress has always been admired.
While in high school, Mike was a standout catcher and pitcher for the Highland Park High School baseball team. He was a two time All-Conference selection and two year team captain. Mike currently lives in Highwood with his wife Jane, two daughters Emily and Samantha and his dog Max.
Ed Reformado is in his eighth year of coaching youth basketball. Within those eight years, Ed has coached numerous feeder and travel basketball programs including: Leyden, Highland Park, Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North. Ed has also coached Girls basketball, grades 4th-8th for St. Cyprian Elementary, in Chicago’s Western Suburbs. Typically, Ed’s teams will focus on playing a disciplined man-to-man “ready to help” defense.
While in high school, Ed was a three-year varsity starter for Leyden High School and Coach Ken Davis. During those three years, Leyden basketball resurfaced and jumped to 20th in high school rankings from a dismal 174th. Following high school, Ed played college basketball for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for one year. In 2005, Ed transferred to Dominican University in River Forest to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in English-Literature and begin his coaching career.
Currently Ed resides in Deerfield.
Jason Chaplain has been coaching youth basketball for the last seven years. He coached the Leyden Junior Eagles for three years and ran the Leyden Summer Camp Feeder Program for four years. He assisted in summer camps at Loyola and Concordia Universities. Jason brings FSA quality experience as he has played three years of varsity basketball at Leyden High School and four years with an AAU club.
Along with his experience, Jason also brings a love for the game and enjoys sharing it with aspiring basketball players of all ages. Jason was voted The Daily Herald News All Area in 2007 and played on the Concordia University Basketball team his freshman year. Jason focuses on instilling a desire in his players to always play hard and finish strong.
Casey Fijalkowski has been coaching youth basketball for over a decade and is excited to be coaching with FSA. Since returning to Lake County after earning his Masters of Education from Indiana University he has been coaching for Highwood Small Fry and other competitive youth travel teams. Casey was a 3 year varsity starter at Vernon Hills HS and a scholarship basketball player at Saint Ambrose University in Iowa. Additionally, he spent 2 seasons with the Loyola Marymount University basketball team in Los Angeles.
Casey’s coaching philosophy has been shaped by many great teachers, including his perpetually optimistic father – Coach Fij. Casey firmly believes in the power of positive thought and tries to instill in his players an attitude of success that rises above wins and losses.