Coaches interested in joining the Virginia Elite coaching staff complete online application.



Coaching Staff

Virginia Elite coaching staff has the necessary qualifications, years of actual division 1 and professional experience. Understanding of players physical, mental and game skill development are keys to any players development. Experienced practice planning and execution, game preparation and game execution to foster positive results in elite competition. 

Junior Elite coaches are involved with the development of our high school players to transition those experience to our younger players. 

Our team of coaches have spent many hours and continuously support sports education, grassroots competition at the Elite level that has resulted in many players moving on to play college basketball, with all these experiences it enables our staff to expect nothing more than the best effort from our players.

Thomas Gadson, Founder/Director and 17U Head Coach


As Owner/Director of Basketball Operations Coach Gadson established Virginia Elite in 2008 with the organizations mission to be the premier grassroots basketball program based in Northern Virginia and recognized as one of the top programs within the Washington,D.C. area, Maryland and Virginia (DMV).


Coach Gadson is a member of the Dulles-Leesburg (VA) Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (Pictured with 2016 Alumni Collin Parker, William and Mary)


A native of Savannah, Georgia, Thomas Gadson has been involved with basketball for more than 30 years, from his youth days playing basketball and football in the YMCA and Police Athletic Leagues (PAL) youth leagues in Savannah through high school and college. After high school he attended Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina which competes in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). 


After his freshmen year transferred and graduated from Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina. Mr. Gadson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Computer Information Systems as well as several technical and professional management certifications As the director of Virginia Elite He is responsible for all aspects for program development.  


Garret Donaldson, Coach

Coach Garrett Donaldson was raised in Langhorne, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Neshaminy High School. Coach Donaldson played basketball for his high school for three consecutive years. Upon graduation from high school Coach Donaldson joined the United States Army. While in the Army Coach Donaldson played basketball for his company basketball team and then became the head coach of the White Sands Army post travel basketball team, who traveled to various military installations to compete against the best military basketball teams in the region.

Upon completing his tour of military duty, Coach Donaldson relocated to Arizona and instantly pursued coaching basketball at the City of Phoenix parks and recreation. Later, Coach Donaldson decided to coached Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) for the Phoenix West Valley Warriors in conjunction with the Richard Dumas and friends foundations. Coach Donaldson went on to build a 4th grade competitive basketball team, who went to the All Valley Championship rounds two years in a row and was successful in capturing the championship the first year, both games were held in the Phoenix Suns Arena. Upon relocating to Northern Virginia, Coach Donaldson decided to join Virginia Elite Basketball Club.    

Mr. Donaldson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety Administration Management from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix Arizona. He currently serves as an employee of the Federal Government


Dave Mason,  Coach  

Coach Dave Mason is a retired Colonel from the United States Air Force, having served 24 years in nuclear-related duties to include command of nuclear-capable combat units. He was born and raised in Clinton North Carolina where he graduated from Clinton High School.  While there Coach Mason lettered in varsity basketball for four consecutive years and was only one of two school freshmen to make the varsity team.  Upon graduation Coach Mason attended N.C. A&T State University on academic scholarship where he earned a Bachelorís of Arts and Sciences Degree in Biology and earned his commission as an Air Force officer.

While in the Air Force, Coach Mason played basketball at the base level for Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.  During 12 military assignments, from North Carolina, to San Antonio Texas, to Great Falls Montana, to Lompoc California, and several assignments in between, Coach Mason recruited, trained and coached middle school and high school AAU basketball talent during each assignment.  Over the years, several of his players went on to perform well at the collegiate level.

Upon completing his final military assignment at the Pentagon, Coach Mason remained in Woodbridge VA and decided to call the area Ė home.  He continued his coaching career in the DMV and in 2011, led an elite team of Fairfax Stars 8th grade talent to a National Championship. 

Afterwards Coach Mason continued his coaching career and took an elite team of 9th grade talent and earned an invitation to play in the AAU Super Showcase event at Disneyís Wide World of Sports in Orlando Florida.  Of the 64 ninth grade teams invited, Coach Masonís NOVA Heat Elite team finished 8.  Coach Mason stood-up and built a very successful NOVA Heat Elite program and since inception in 2009, the organization has sent 8 aspiring young elite athletes to compete at the collegiate level. 

Coach Mason joined the Virginia Elite Grassroots Program in 2016 to continue training, developing and coaching elite-level talent.

In addition to a Bachelorís Degree, Coach Mason also holds a Masterís Degree in Management from Lesley University Ö a Masterís Degree in Strategic Studies from Air War College Ö and an executive-level fellowship certificate in International Security from The George Washington University.  Coach Mason currently works at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. 

Andre Golanski, Junior Elite Director  


Andre Golanski, support Virginia Elite as the Middle School Director.  The Youth and Middle School Elite programs will align with the High School Elite programs with the vision to transitions those players into the High School Elite program


Lemar Marshall,  Phenom Strength and Conditioning Coach


Lemar Marshall, Former Washington Redskin and Owner of Phenom Strength and Conditioning provides the program with NFL level professional services in the development for our Middle and High School players. 


TRAIN LIKE THE PROS performance training program that focus on increasing speed, agility and quickness. Improve your reaction time and leaping ability. And build the critical strength and flexibility needed to prevent common sports-related injuries. Olympians, NFL and NBA pro athletes, collegiate and high-school stand-outs alike trust Phenom Strength and Conditioning. 


Alan Starks,  Coach  

Coming Soon 


Jon Heslep, Coach  

Coming Soon 


Jesse Hudson, Coach  

Coming Soon 


Rod Smith, Coach  

Coming Soon 


Virginia Elite National Grassroots Basketball Program