Co-director, Paul Hopper, has been involved in basketball for over 39 years. While in high school he led Eastview Secondary School to several conference championships. He was known as the “kid who took his basketball everywhere.” Paul went on to play Varsity basketball at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, (1980-1984) where he played for Don Punch and Barry Phillips. Paul then attended Queens University in Kingston (1985) where he attained his degree in teaching.
The gym at the Barrie YMCA was named in memory of his father Al Hopper who was a big basketball supporter. In 1985 Paul was named Men’s Head Varsity Coach at Georgian College in Barrie Ontario where he coached for 4 years.
Paul has spent the last 32 years coaching Varsity and Junior Varsity basketball at the high school level. When not coaching the high school aged student, Paul can be found running clinics and house leagues for the elementary aged students. Paul is currently on the executive of the Barrie Royals Basketball Club as well as a coach with the Barrie Royals. Paul’s Royals teams are consistently ranked among the best in the province. At the high school level, Paul’s Bear Creek Senior Boys have won back to back City and GBSSA Championships along with qualifying for the all Ontario tournament at the at AAAA level.
Paul’s personal best is 144 consecutive foul shots. Paul has shot 100 or more consecutive foul shots on numerous occasions. Paul has coached over 1000 basketball games.
Co-director, Marty McCrone has been involved in basketball for over 43 years. Throughout his high school career, he led his team to four conference championships and two trips to the Provincial championships. Marty then went on to play at the University of Guelph. While attending teachers college at the University of Toronto, Marty played for the U of T Blues. Here he was selected to the University of Toronto All-Star Team of the ’70’s. This was quite an accomplishment, having played only one year with the Toronto Blues. Marty holds the Canadian record for being the oldest male to play basketball at the University level. This was accomplished while attending York University at the age of 35. In 1994, Marty represented Canada at the World Masters Games in Brisbane Australia.
Marty’s coaching career has spanned over 33 years and two countries. Within those years, Marty has coached in Canada and the United States. He has coached at the elementary school level, the high school level (junior varsity and varsity) and at the provincial level. Thunderhoops is the culmination of many years of running basketball leagues for children, youth and adults. While coaching varsity basketball and volleyball in Baltimore Maryland, Marty was named “Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Coach of the Year for his accomplishments in Volleyball.
Paul Hopper, Paul Jones (TSN and the Raptors) and Marty McCrone