Tom Emory

Tom Emory has been a basketball coach and trainer for over 23 years, mentoring athletes in the Spokane community from ages 5 -25.  Tom comes from a family that is deeply involved in the game of basketball – his dad, wife, and daughter all played college basketball. His dad was a High School Championship coach in Colorado Springs, Colorado and daughter is currently on the coaching staff at The Masters University where she played 4 years.   Below are some of the highlights of Tom’s career:

  • Founded the Spokane Basketball School back in 2001 
  • Founded the Spokane Club Shootout in 2000, Spokane largest 5 on 5 competitive adult indoor tournament
  • Sports Director of the Spokane Club for 8 years
  • Head Varsity coach at Shadle Park for 2 years
    • Led the Highlanders to a 3A GSL regular season Championship
    • Led the Highlanders to a District Championship, into Regionals, and State Qualifications
  • Head Coach for the NW Blazers White, Black, and Lightning teams over a 8 year span
    • Elite Showcase travel team, and was top sponsored Adidas organization in the county – since switching over to UnderArmour as the top organization in the country
    • Has personally helped families / athletes in the Northwest receive over $5 MILLION in college scholarship offers
    • 95%+ of the players that Tom coached went on to play at the NAIA, D3, D2, and D1 level – and even two athletes that are currently playing professionally
  • Shooting instructor, utilizing NOAH and NOAHLYTICS, for over 10 years
  • Started ITZ Sports Performance back in 2017, all the while conducting between 80-100 private lessons per month
  • Veteran of the US Air Force where he served from 1990-94 ,during Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Gulf War)

Jessica Thoens

Jessica Thoens joins the ITZ Sports Performance team with over 15 years of playing and coaching experience. Coaching has been a passion of Jess’ from a very early age. She has played and coached at every level from youth to high school then college. Jess was born and raised in Oregon City, Oregon which has a community and a culture that lives for women’s basketball. It is known as home of the winningest high school girl’s basketball program in the state, an elite youth program, and host to the End of the Trail basketball tournament.

Jess concluded her collegiate career at Whitworth University in 2017 where she was the starting point guard and team captain. While at Whitworth, Jess received her bachelor’s degree in Pre-Med with a minor in Athletic Coaching. Jess decided to pursue her dream of college coaching and joined the Eastern Washington University’s women’s basketball coaching staff in 2018 as a graduate assistant. While coaching Division I for EWU, she earned her master’s degree in Sports Administration.

Jess continues to combine her love of the game with her pursuit of excellence as an elite trainer where she is devoted to helping teach, motivate, and develop the next generation of athletes. Her attention to detail and ability to break down and teach the game has allowed her to help transition several athletes to the next level. Jess strives to not only build better athletes, but to make an impact by truly helping develop better people.

Tony Skinner

Tony Skinner moved to Spokane, WA in 2002 to continue his basketball career. He went on to play for Gonzaga University from 2002-2004. He graduated from Gonzaga with a Bachelors in Sociology. After graduation, Tony went on to play professionally in Germany after which he returned to Spokane and started to embrace what Spokane and the basketball world have in common – a real love for the game. 

In 2007, Tony began his coaching career with a fellow teammate, and has since coached for several youth programs, teams, and organizations. 

Tony loves the passion Spokane has for basketball and does as much as he can to continue to give back. With 3 children of his own, his focus is on the fundamentals of the game. This includes not only teaching proper form and technique, but truly teaching the game the right way. 

  • Gonzaga Graduate 2004 played from 2002-2004
  • Played Professionally in Germany
  • Bachelors in Sociology, emphasis on teaching
  • Coached girls/boys AAU 2008-present
  • Individual/small group/team trainings
  • Collaborate and Consult with Lilac Legends (Spokane minor league BBall team)
  • Constant Student of the game

Austin Yoakum

Austin Yoakum was born and raised in Spokane and has been a basketball player at both the high school and collegiate level. After spending 3 years playing Varsity basketball at West Valley High School, Austin went on to play 2 years at Wenatchee Valley Junior College while getting an Associates degree in Business Administration. After college, Austin opened a private local finance business in the Spokane area while staying involved in athletics / basketball as an AAU coach, skills development trainer, and personal training. Passionate about helping people achieve their full potential, Austin is actively involved in personal development workshops including but not limited to; cognitive functioning, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and nutrition / fitness. Below are some of the highlights of his basketball career and personal life.

  • Varsity basketball 3 years at West Valley High School
  • GNC All League basketball athlete 2016
  • 2 Year scholarship athlete at Wenatchee Valley JC
  • NWAC Winter Scholastic Athlete (2017)
  • Dean’s list 5 out of 6 quarters at WVC
  • Founded local private finance startup in 2020

Riley Lupfer

Riley Lupfer was born and raised in Spokane, WA. She graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 2016 where she won GSL Player of the Year and Spokane Youth Sports Award Female Athlete of the Year. Her AAU experience playing for Spokane Legacy and the Northwest Blazers fueled her passion for the game and opened the door for her to compete at the next level. 

Riley went on to play at Boise State University from 2016-2020. During her time there, she helped lead her team to 4 straight conference championships and 4 straight NCAA tournament appearances. She became the single season all time 3-point record holder not only at Boise State, but also in the Mountain West Conference. Her other career highlights include being a three-time all Mountain West team member and winning the Mountain West Tournament MVP her sophomore season.

Her outstanding collegiate career opened the door for her to play professionally in Germany following graduation. While in Germany, she helped lead her team to their most successful season in club history.

Upon returning to the US, Riley has spent the last year coaching AAU and training kids of all ages.

Josh Heytvelt

From Clarkston, to Gonzaga, to ITZ Sports Performance.

Josh was born and raised in Clarkston, WA where he was named the state’s Class 3A Player of the Year for three consecutive years.

Following his high school career, he moved to Spokane, WA and was a member of the Gonzaga Men’s Basketball team from 2004-2008. 

After receiving his degree in Sports Management from GU, Josh continued his basketball career by playing professionally for 7 years in Turkey, Italy, Croatia, and Japan. 

Josh has since become a very successful entrepreneur and began coaching youth basketball in 2019.