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Parent & Player Testimonials

Andre Blakely

Parent of Jakob Blakely
Walter Payton College Prep – 2024
Le Moyne University

I’ll start by saying that Fundamental U was the biggest blessing in disguise. We had heard about the program previously and initially I falsely believed that the program was only suited for certain types of players. I couldn’t have been more wrong in my thinking. The Fundamental U experience provided everything that we needed, including and most importantly, a true family like experience that we will always be a part of. The Coaches at FU truly care about the development of each player, on and off the court. They spent countless hours with Cheese watching film, sending text messages, breaking down the game for him. Thats when I started to see his confidence grow and the dots start to connect. My most memorable experience was last summer with the 2023 17u UA Rise team. My son was still recovering from his injury and honestly, he did not have a great spring season. There was one game in particular where he struggled and he was coming out of the game, several of his teammates were there to support him. I’ll never forget this experience and the unselfishness which is a part of the FU culture. These were guys that could’ve easily started at any other program yet their love for their teammate was greater than their personal desires or wishes. This is when I fell all the way in love with the program because it truly defines what the program is all about. I’ve learned that you can chase the shiny bright things or situations, but our experience confirmed that what we’re all really searching for as a parent is a place where our kids can grow up to care more about others than themselves. Basketball is a major part of everything but it means nothing if we’re not raising them to be good people as well and the FU culture cares about the person on and off the court. In closing I’ll say this, FU represents love and we all know that love is a lot of things but love is never easy. So thanks to FU, we will always pursue a situation where love is the main ingredient. I get chills just thinking about the special memories and bonds that were formed, not just with the kids but also amongst the parents, and coaches. FU is different so please don’t judge it based on one practice or game or you will miss out on a very special experience.

Stavros Giannoulias

Parent of Owen Giannoulias
Glenbrook North – 2024
Denison University

Parents ask me all the time for advice on travel “AAU” programs. My response is simple: “What do you and your child want to get out of it?”For me, it was all about (i) my son being taught by and learning from coaches who know the game and have super high basketball IQ, and (ii) being challenged by practicing every day with teammates who are not only great athletes and highly talented, but who also possess high basketball IQ and want to play the game the correct way. If that’s what you want, then the answer is simple. Fundamental U is the place to be. Period. I have tons of respect for many coaches and programs in the area. However, Fundamental U has consistently put forth top teams (at multiple levels) that compete with the best teams in the country consistently for as long as any program in the state, if not the Midwest. That doesn’t happen by chance or by luck.

Jennifer Kotecki

Parent of Jackson Kotecki
St Ignatius – 2023
Miami (Ohio) University

Jackson and I are profoundly grateful to have found Mike Weinstein and the Fundamental U program. Mike and his coaching staff, Christian and Dantea, were able to fine tune Jackson’s skill set and bring him to the next level. Jackson was surrounded by high caliber teammates who all worked together to help one another excel. From day one the coaches were invested in Jackson’s future and his goal of becoming a division one basketball player. Through their help, Jackson will continue his basketball at Miami Of Ohio. This was a complete team effort. We are proud to be apart of the Fundamental U family!

Andy Roberts

Parent of Ethan Roberts
Hersey – 2021
Army - West Point

Ethan's journey was let's say unique.  I was transferred to Chicago from Memphis, TN at the beginning of Ethan's junior year.  When it came time to to look for an AAU team, the Fundamental U was recommended because of it's high academics and Michael Weinstein's connection to coaches.  Thank God we met him! Ethan was welcomed into the FU family and began to work on his game with the excellent and experienced staff.  Then we were faced with COVID...No AAU season, shortened H.S. Season, I firmly believe if it wasn't for Michael's reputation and the connection he has to college coaches, Ethan's hopes of playing D1 basketball would look very different.  He works extremely hard behind the scenes to get your kid to the correct place.  I love his focus and academics and he cares about the path he puts his graduates on.  Ethan is proud of his time at FU and proud be always be considered a member of the family.

Mark Kochera

Parent of Connor Kochera
St Viator – 2020
William & Mary > Davidson

Looking back on our AAU journey, we could not have asked for a better program for Connor than Coach Weinstein and the entire Fundamental University staff. The culture and approach to practices and games is unlike any other in the Chicagoland area. I can't tell you how many Division 1 coaches acknowledged that our team was unique on the AAU circuit. Many mentioned that they played like a real team, were well coached and extremely fun to watch. That is a testament to the quality of the program that Mike runs.  As a coach, Mike is a great communicator and develops relationships with the players that develops into trust. Mike takes a very long term view of his players and is never up or down based upon any single practice or game. He is constantly encouraging his players to forget about the distractions, but singularly focus on "getting better" . The teamwork and camaraderie that was exhibited by our team both on and off the court (as well as the parental support around the team) was second to none. Having a strong support network to encourage growth and development is so important for any aspiring high level athlete. In that regard, we feel like Fundamental University is the in class. We cannot overestimate how valuable Connor's experience was a contributor to his overall success. Thank you Mike and the entire Fundamental University team for all your hard work, care and guidance to Connor throughout his development.

Rob & Jennie Linke

Parents of Connor Linke
St Charles North – 2020
Bradley University

Our son played for Coach Weinstein for only one season of AAU/grassroots basketball (17U). Very early on in the spring season it was clear to us as parents that we should have joined Mike’s program several years prior. He has created the right kind of team culture that every aspiring player wants to be part of and by extension, every parent wants to see their child be a part of. As a coach, Mike Weinstein has expectations for his players, but he is excellent at building trusting relationships with his players (& parents) which allows him to push his players to help them reach their maximum potential, which should be our goal for them in every pursuit they take, win or lose, athletic scholarship or not! Coach Weinstein teaches his players to play the right way and it was fun to watch his Fundamental U teams play & win big games and see his players confidence skyrocket to the point where at the end of the year they left like they could compete with anybody (& usually did!) What also really impressed me was how much work Coach Weinstein did behind the scenes to help in our son’s college recruiting, which took off well after the AAU season ended in July. His commitment to his players didn’t end once the last game of the summer season was finished. Mike’s expansive network in the college coaching community and his years of experince with players of all skill levels helped target programs where our son could be successful. Mike has become a trust friend and someone we will look for guidance and advice for many years to come.

Eric & Tracy Ronzio

Parents of Rocco Ronzio
Hersey – 2019
Carroll University

When our son Rocco became interested in playing AAU/grassroots basketball, there were so many teams and clubs out there that we didn't know where to start.  We started asking around and one name that kept coming up with positive feedback was Mike Weinstein.  The more we looked into Mike's program, we decided it would be a great fit for Rocco.  Now looking back, it was a great decision!  Mike has surrounded himself with great coaches in his program - each of them with different backgrounds, experiences and talents, but all with the same philosophy of the Fundamental U program.  But Mike doesn't just bring in players and turn them over to other coaches.  From the first day, Mike was a hands on coach who identified what Rocco needed to work on, clearly communicated that to us and Rocco, and then helped him make those improvements.  In addition to individual player improvement, he runs his teams like a college program so that his players are fully prepared to play at the next level.  So many times I would talk to college coaches and they would tell me how they loved watching Mike's teams play because they could truly evaluate players actually playing a college style of basketball, not just the one-on-one basketball that gives AAU a bad reputation.  Another thing that distinguishes Mike's teams from other teams is that Mike's teams have a real family atmosphere where the parents and players are all pulling for each other, not competing with each other.  That kind of relationship starts at the top and is a true credit to and reflection of the type of person Mike is.

Matt & Lauren Timmerman

Parents of Alex Timmerman
Crystal Lake Central – 2019
Bucknell University

We are fortunate to get our son , Alex Timmerman, connected with Mike after his freshman year of high school. We were looking for someone that could help our son develop his physical and mental game so that he could pursue his dream of playing college basketball. Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience that puts him in a unique position to help players develop and prepare for college. He is a straight shooter with both the players and parents which is not always the case inn the grassroots basketball world. He is able to identify the things that players need to work on to improve and put themselves in the best position to play at the next level. He takes a team approach and gets players to play together…another rarity in the grassroots world. But perhaps most importantly, Mike is 100% about helping his players maximize their potential and finding the school for their future. Since he has been doing this for a long time, he literally knows everyone, which is invaluable in helping match players with the right college and coach.

Corey Davis

Parent of Ryan Davis
Conant– 2018
University of Vermont

The decision to make the level of commitment, financial and time, AAU ball takes is not an easy one. Although the college scholarships, that are most parents goal and make this commitment well worth it, aren’t realistic for all players. Through his knowledge of the game, AAU system and the level of competition his program plays, Mike makes every young man in his program a better basketball player. Through his experience in basketball and the volume of relationships he has, Mike gives each player the best possible situation to play college basketball.

Matt & Gayle McCabe

Parents of Jordan McCabe
Kaukanna HS (WI)– 2017
West Virginia > UNLV

Coach Weinstein coached our son Jordan on the Under Armour Association circuit during the 2017 season. He did an outstanding job taking a group of players and getting the most of them as a team and individuals. They were always prepared and competed with some of the top teams in the country. He made Jordan a better player on the court but even more important was a role model and had an impact on him as a person off the court. Without hesitation we would trust our son as an aspiring high-level basketball player to play for coach Weinstein!

Dave Anthony

Parent of Luke Anthony
Wheaton Academy – 2017
Dayton Football > Wheaton University (2-Sport Athlete)

Very thankful for the years Coach Mike invested in my son Luke and all of the boys. Its amazing how fast the years went by. We all were blessed to be part of Mike’s program playing on the UA association circuit. Thanks Mike! Quite honestly, it didn’t matter if our name was FU or Young Legends we knew it was family and my son Luke would develop as both a person and player .

Michael Karras

Parent of Noah Karras
Lake Forest HS – 2015
University of Chicago

Our son Noah hooked up with Coach Weinstein and Fundamental U. in 2013 following his sophomore season and the two immediately connected.  We all decided FU would be the best program for Noah the next two AAU seasons.  The level of individual instruction, group training, and “team” philosophy was instrumental in taking Noah’s game to a higher level.  Playing with Fundamental U. provided Noah an environment to work hard and connect with like-minded kids who were as passionate about improving their games and playing in college.  It is also worth mentioning that Noah’s teams experienced a great deal of success playing in major events around the country for the program.  Coach Weinstein cares deeply about his players and advocates for them tirelessly.  Noah is currently in his 3rd season playing at the University of Chicago and remains in close contact with Coach Weinstein.  He has, without question, been an extremely positive influence on Noah and continues to mentor him to this day.  We know that we will always have a strong relationship with Mike long after Noah’s playing days are over.

Alex George

Parent of Jack George
Carmel HS – 2014
Elon University

Our son, Jack, started working with Mike exclusively after his sophomore year in high school. I only wish that Jack would have been able to work with Mike at an earlier age. After experiencing a couple of different AAU programs where skill development takes a backseat, Fundamental U was really what Jack needed all along. Mike’s focus is just what the program advertises, fundamentals. By working with Mike and many of the college players who come back on breaks and during the summer to work with Mike, Jack’s game reached a new level that enabled Jack to get significant interest from college coaches. But it isn’t just about basketball. Mike focuses on respect, commitment, effort and teamwork. He emphasizes to his players that these traits as well as good grades open as many doors to play in college as basketball skills. I heard from several college coaches that they respect Mike for the type of program that he runs and they trust his players know how to play the game. Mike was there every step of the way through Jack’s varsity career and during the recruiting process with contacts and advice. Again, it was never solely about basketball. It was finding the right fit for academics and basketball. As a parent, the recruiting process can be very frustrating and complex. Because of Mike, Jack is playing at his top choice. I cannot say enough about Mike as a coach and as person.

Jason Richards

Barrington – 2006
Davidson University

Coach Weinstein has played a pivotal part in my development as a player both on and off the court.  His attention to detail,  basketball knowledge and overall passion for the game were some of the many reasons I was successful throughout my basketball career. Not only did he teach me important skills as a player, but he also taught me many important life lessons off the court.  Coach Weinstein played an important role in my recruitment process which landed me a scholarship with Davidson College where i went on to a have successful career alongside back court mate Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.  My career was capped off by professional contracts with the Miami Heat, the Utah Flash of the NBAD-League, and a contract overseas.  Without the help of Coach Weinstein throughout my career i would never of have reached that high level of success.  Coach Weinstein runs a tremendous program and his list of players he has helped over their careers is impressive.  The most important thing about Coach Weinstein is that even though he is a tremendous basketball coach, he is even a better person. I can't thank him enough for all he has done for me in my career. P.S. "He still can't guard me after 3 ACL tears!!!"

John & Barb Brust

Parents of Ben Brust
Mundelein – 2010
University of Wisconsin

Our son Benjamin Brust at the young age of 10 years old had the fortune of playing AAU basketball under Coach Weinstein. At an early age he saw the potential in our son. He worked with our son from age 10 until he left for college. Coach Weinstein taught him and led by example in many ways on and off the court. Sometimes as parents we think we know it all for our children but sometimes you have to step away and trust someone who is smart, knowledgeable, wise and very versed in the area of your child’s passion. Coach Weinstein is that person!! He not only helps kids to be better basketball players but also teaches them life lessons so they can become better people in life! He is passionate about what he does and cares for each kid to make them the best player they can be and also successful in life. Today our son is in college playing D1 basketball on a full scholarship. He had natural talent but Coach Weinstein was that special coach who developed our son’s natural ability. We knew we could trust him and we knew that what he said regarding basketball wise was right for our son! Coach Weinstein has a remarkable repore with hundreds of college coaches nationwide. He is very well respected and connected in that sector. He knows what he is doing! Our son has spent countless hours with Coach Weinstein and still continues to work hard everyday! Coach Weinstein has been a mentor to our son and has also developed a lasting friendship with our son. Our son is a proven example of Coach Weinstein’s work! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our son! We are honored and privledged that Coach Weinstein has helped our son in his journey to becoming the best basketball player he can be!

Dave Downey

Parent of Sam Downey
Lake Forest HS – 2013

Mike has an incredible talent for recognizing potential in a player and then teaching him how to use it. Our son improved tremendously while playing for him and the interest Sam received from top schools across the country shows the respect those Head Coaches have for Mike.Most impressive is the way Coach Weinstein teaches not only basketball skills but the importance of team work, strong character and discipline. Life skills that are so important to the success of his teams and to his players off the court and in the future. Mike helped Sam improve his post skills and court presence with the goal to play for a highly regarded D- I school. During our tours of top academic universities, every Head Coach remarked how well Mike's teams played together and how well prepared they were for every game. They respect how he develops court presence in his players and teaches them how to make intelligent decisions. Coach Weinstein is a tireless advocate for his players and Sam is grateful for his help in earning the opportunity to attend Yale

Mr. Bulger

Parent of Kevin Bulger
Glenbrook South
Columbia University

My son played for Coach Weinstein from 6th grade until he was a senior in High School. Coach Weinstein helped development my son not only as a player but as a person. He is a no-nonsense nurturer with an uncanny ability to motivate and improve basketball players of all ages. His history of developing players is unlike any I have ever seen. Along with being the catalyst in my son's basketball development, Coach Weinstein was able to help our family navigate the confusing and often stressful world of college recruiting. His relationships with colleges coaches across the country provided invaluable exposure which helped my son achieve his dream of playing Division one college basketball. I cannot say enough about Coach Weinstein, my family is forever thankful for the hard work and dedication that he provided to our son.

Bill O'Brien

Parent of Sean O'Brien
Mundelein – 2013
Southern Illinois

Mike Weinstein and Fundamental U went way beyond my expectations! If your son has the ability to play at the collegiate level then I would highly recommend Mike Weinstein. Mike is well respected and well known amongst College Coaches. Mike networks extremely well with the College Coaches and tries to find a “good fit” for both the player and the college program. Mike enters the top tournaments where your son will have the opportunity to play against great competition in front of several college coaches. Mike will have your son well prepared for these tournaments. The practices will consist of skill work and drills that Mike has picked up from various Division 1 basketball coaches. When I heard from college coaches while my son was being recruited every coach complimented the way we ( Fundamental U) played and said it was “refreshing” to watch us play because we played the game the right way! Sean went from having no official scholarship offers in March 2012 to having over 13 Division 1 offers by August 2012 during his season with Fundamental U.  Mike also remains in touch and involved with his former players and sincerely cares about your son’s future on and off the court. Thanks Mike!

Abby Carter

Parent of Chance Carter
Loyola Academy – 2010
Northwestern (Football)

My son was 6’0 foot tall, 180 lbs., and wore a size 15 shoe at age 11. He loved basketball because his mom thought it was a safe sport. However, his passion was football. We met Michael Weinstein at the Joy of The Game in Deerfield, Illinois and this is where our lifelong friendship began. Coach Mike took my son Chancellor and my 3 other children and family under his wing. He taught him the fundamentals of life and basketball. He crisscrossed the country traveling to place such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Houston, Detroit, Virginia Beach and Durham just to name a few places. He went to some of the most competitive and prestigious tournament in the country. Coach Mike also was a mentor and father figure to Chancellor who helped to shape him and his character. He taught Chancellor things both on and off the court. These things would take him through life. When Chancellor made the decision to stop playing basketball and focus on football Coach Mike never gave up on him he embraced Chancellor and encouraged and him to follow his dream. He never gave up on Chancellor no matter what the circumstance. Coach Mike was very instrumental in the recruiting process. He told him what the expectations would be in playing Division 1 football at places like Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He helped Chance to navigate all the way through the recruitment process up through his final decision to attend Northwestern University on a full scholarship. Coach Mike is a person or integrity and of his word. If he believes in you there is nothing he won’t do for you to help you reach your goal. You have to want it yourself and he will help you develop the road map to achieve your goal with no expectation or hidden agenda. Coach Mike is still a part of our family and we a part of his. The fun, mentoring and friendship did not end because they still talk on the phone, Facebook, and still get together to attend different social and sporting events. Coach Mike mentored Chancellor and indirectly mentored his brother Da Veed and sisters Adrianna and Erika to pursue their dreams as student athletes. I guess you can say Coach Michael Weinstein inspired, guided, and nurtured a mini Michael Weinstein Chancellor Carter his protégé.

Brice Zaumseil

Parent of Brad Zaumseil
Barrington – 2013
Miami (OH)

If you are looking for a complete basketball program Fundamental U is the best. Mike has over 20 years of experience and knows the business inside and out. He has coached hundreds of players that have gone on to play college basketball. The program is run professionally and is very detailed. Mike will only coach the serious and dedicated players. The players are expected to practice often and work hard. The practices are well organized and very detailed. Players will play in the most competitive tournaments and will learn how to play basketball the right way! Mike teaches fundamentals of the game and teaches serious players how to get to next level. The most important thing that Fundamental U does is to develop the kids into fine young men. Mike will only coach quality kids that want to work together. He will teach them life lessons. He is always emphasizing grades as being a good student. Mike always stresses the importance of being a good person and living life the right way. He is an excellent role model and the type of coach every player should want to play for. Mike truly cares about the kids and will do anything to help in their development as a player or a person. He is great at helping the kids through the recruiting process as he has many college contacts. He is well respected in the basketball world. Overall, Fundamental U is great for the serious player who wants to learn basketball and beyond the right way!

Patty Gorman

Parent of Steven Cook
New Trier – 2013

My son loved his experience playing AAU with Mike Weinstein’s Fundamental University. Mike put together a talented team, developed each player’s skill set and taught them to play smarter both individually and as a team. Moreover, Mike seems to know everyone in the basketball world from college coaches to other AAU players and coaches to event organizers. These resources and knowledge put Mike in a great position to coach well, provide player promotion and give useful feedback. Mike prepared my son to bring his game to the next level.

Alex Fridman

Parent of Josh Fridman
Glenbrook North – 2024
Illinois Welseyan University

I have had two kids in the Fundamental U program. Mike is a legend and has built an incredible program with truly talented coaches, that are even better people who truly care about your kids. They have multiple teams at all levels so there is always a great fit. The top teams compete against the best players and teams in the country. This is truly an amazing experience for these kids. For the older kids that have a desire to play at the next level, this is definitely the place. Mike and the coaching staff work tirelessly talking to college coaches and finding the right fit for the kids at the next level. My oldest just graduated and faced some tough injuries - the support he received, the love from everyone at FU was amazing. They supported him when he was on and off the court (mostly off). He was truly part of a family. Then when he was back on the court, they opened many doors and were huge advocates for him as he was exploring playing in college. This has been an amazing program and more like a family for my kids. They’ve been able to compete at the highest possible level, learn many life lessons, and have learned so much about basketball and life.

Arne & Karen Duncan

Parents of Ryan Duncan
Wilbraham & Munson – 2023
Princeton University

We felt so fortunate to have our son be part of the Fundamental University program. They challenged him to get better, helped him grow on and off the court, and were invaluable in helping us navigate the college recruitment process. We will always be part of the FU family. Arne & Karen Duncan

Dan Munro

Parent of Jackson Munro
New Trier – 2022
Dartmouth University

In the spring of my son’s junior year, he was facing a tough decision. Playing AAU ball with some of his friends on a lesser-known circuit or join FU and play on the Under Armour circuit. He didn’t know any players, coaches, or much of anything about the program. Mike was honest and upfront about what FU had to offer. There was no heavy sales pressure or promises made. Mike just laid it all out on the table and let my son decide. And DAMN, he made the right decision. Jackson went from relative obscurity to 20 division 1 offers in the matter of 4 months. How does this happen? Mike Weinstein and all the FU coaches went to bat for my son. My son had some raw talent but FU taught him how to play the right way. How to get the most out of his ability, and how to play true team basketball. Jacksons’ recruitment was a dizzying process. Mike was always there to advise, make calls, take calls, and advocate for my son. His relationships with college programs are second to none. Mike kept telling us “Go where you’re really wanted, and where you can play”. Mike prides himself on matching the player with the program. While offers from schools are important, it was the lasting friendships my son made with his teammates and his coaches. I don’t think a day goes by that Jackson doesn’t hear from Mike, Christian, Dantea, or Tyler. They have been incredibly helpful in getting my son through his freshman year. Like I said before………He made the right decision.

Troy & Annette Huseman

Parents of Chris Mantis
Lowell High School – 2021
Appalachian St

Our son, Christopher Mantis only played for Coach Weinstein for one season. It was a critical season and in the middle of a pandemic. Coach Weinstein still made sure the boys were able to practice while maintaining all safety covid protocols. He also made sure that he made contact and communicated with college coaches for the recruitment of the boys. Coach Weinstein also had the boys participate safely in multiple tournaments that were live streamed to Division 1 Coaches.  Coach Weinstein held quality practices and very competitive scrimmages to get the boys prepared for the tournaments. He also kept us parents notified and well informed all decisions he was making during this process. That was not an easy task due to all the changes, cancellations and state restrictions that were going on during the season.  Coach Weinstein did a lot behind the scenes. He developed a relationship with both us and our son. He made sure that we were happy and was willing to answer or help with any questions we may have with his program or any college recruiting our son.  It is unfortunate we only played in the Fundamental U program for one year. They focus on full development of their players. Coach Weinstein is very upfront about what he sees in your child as player. He is very transparent.  Playing for a program like Fundamental u would benefit any player who is looking to play at the next level.  Our son is committed to his school and has completed his senior year. Coach Weinstein is still supporting him and reaching out. It is more than about just basketball with Coach Weinstein.

Rich & Debbie Silverstein

Parents of Sam Silverstein
New Trier / Northfield Mt Hermon – 2020 
Harvard University

Unlike other AAU programs, which appear to be every man for himself, Fundamental U plays as a team. Mike puts great emphasis on teamwork component of the game. He puts together a team of talented young men and works to maximize each player’s unique potential. This emphasis on teamwork continues off the court. Mike encourages the players to spend time together, and nearly all the parents travel with the team to tournaments, creating a true family atmosphere. Mike has a wealth of experience in the AAU world. He takes everything in stride, knowing that AAU can be strange and unpredictable to parents and players alike. His contacts in the basketball world are strong and deep, and Mike never hesitates to pick up the phone on behalf his “guys” . He is forthright and direct with both the players and parents during the often-confusing recruiting process. There is no questions that Fundamental U and Mike Weinstein have had a tremendous impact on our son. We know that Mike will continue to be an advocate, supporter, and voice of honesty for him.

Gabe Madsen

Parent of Mason & Gabe Madsen
Mayo HS (MN) – 2020
Mason: Cincinnati > Boston College | Gabe: Utah

Mike Weinstein worked with my twin sons, Mason and Gabe Madsen, in the spring and summer of 2019. While Coach Weinstein is both an excellent basketball strategist and is well-connected to college coaches at all levels across the country, it is his capacity to positively correct with young men that sets him apart from others. Mike has the uncommon ability to hold players accountable and motivate them to play at their highest level while maintaining that positive connection. During my 20 years as a varsity boys basketball coach, I have had many players play for various AAU programs in the upper Midwest. Without reservation, I can say that Coach Weinstein and his program are among the very best that I have seen in terms of on-court instruction, player-development and aiding players through the recruitment process.

Roger Boehm

Parents of Spencer Boehm
New Trier – 2019
Washington University – St Louis

Mike has coached 4 of my 6 kids over the past 10+ years. My sons Peter attended Harvard,  Jack attended Bucknell and Connor attends Dartmouth.  There are three things that I think distinguishes Mike from other coaches. First, his teams play the right way on the court, with a focus on discipline and team. This is pretty unique in the AAU environment . Secondly, Mike helps players develop-mentally and physically - to play the game of basketball. He is always very direct and honest with kids in terms of their overall performance and ability to play at the next level. The players and parents may not always like what they hear - but he is direct and honest - which is in everyone's best interest in the long run. Finally, he truly cares about finding the right college program for his kids - places where they have a chance to succeed. He puts a great deal of care and pride into this, and he is very well connected to strong academic institutions (Ivy League, Patriot League, top tier D3). He understands these institutions well and is uniquely positioned to connect his kids to them.

Vince & Amy Casieri

Parents of Alex Casieri
Deerfield – 2018
New York University

Our son, Alex, has played for Mike over the past two years. Mike is an excellent coach, and an even better motivator and mentor for our son.  Mike’s constant, unwavering support of and work with Alex allowed him to grow as a player, and a person.  Alex played for Mike this past season on the Wisconsin Playground Warrior team which gave him great exposure to top-level talent and college coaches from across the country. Mike’s work with Alex and the team, and the depth and breadth of his connections in the college coaching community, allowed Alex to gain significant exposure to multiple programs at the Division I, II and III level.  Alex will continue his athletic and academic career at New York University in the fall, in no small part thanks to Mike’s hard work on his behalf and Mike’s development of him as a player and person over these last few years.

Jim & Katy Sotos

Parents of Jimmy Sotos
Conant – 2017
Bucknell University > Ohio State

The thing that separates Mike from many who try to duplicate him is his candor and his insight. Mike will tell you honestly where your son stands, what it will take for him to accomplish his goals, and -this is important- whether those goals are realistic.  Many don’t like to hear that and there are plenty of program directors who won’t risk losing a player by telling the truth.  But if you listen to Mike, you will have the tools you need to help your son get the most out of his basketball abilities, whether that is being a good high school player, or playing at a great college.  And once it’s time to select a college, Mike is an expert at sorting through the coach-speak to help identify the best fit for your son both academically and athletically.  4 of my sons have played or are still playing college basketball, and I can say without hesitation after having been exposed to most of the travel basketball programs that Mike is the very best at developing high school players into college players and then helping them find the schools that are best suited to them.

Kevin Krutwig

Parent of Cam Krutwig
Jacobs – 2017
Loyola University (Chicago)

Our two sons both received scholarships to play Division I basketball. One played with a prominent shoe company program, & the other played with Coach Weinstein. The experience playing at Fundamental U was fantastic. Mike is approachable and teaches high level fundamentals of the game that they might not be getting from their high school coach. The program is not all about winning, but they do win; due to the way Coach Mike molds the individual players into a team.  Mike has many contacts in the college coaching ranks at all levels. He works very hard behind the scenes to help players secure a roster spot at what ever level fits that player. He does not just care about the Division I players, but rather helps all the players who want to play in college, to find a good fit.

Rich Baum

Parent of Jordan Baum
Deerfield HS– 2016
University of Chicago

I have known Mike for over 25 years.  My boys have been in his basketball development programs since they were toddlers.  My oldest son, Jordan, is now finishing his Senior year in High School, and Mike has been an invaluable coach, resource and friend throughout much of his 18 years.  Mike met with Jordan prior to his Freshman year in High School. They spoke about Jordan’s aspirations and dreams, not just in basketball, but in life.  Mike preached the importance of maintaining good grades as well as basketball development so that Jordan could keep his future options as diverse as possible.  Mike followed through on this conversation by helping guide Jordan through his basketball development and maturation as young man.  This guidance included the college recruiting process as Mike made suggestions and introductions to coaches of schools that were good fits for Jordan.  Jordan is about to finish his senior year in High School leading his team to possibly the best record in school history. Next year he will continue his education and basketball career at one of the top academic institutions in the United States, the University of Chicago.  Needless to say, my wife and I are big fans of Mike and his program.

Mr. Porter

Parent of Eric Porter
Deerfield – 2014
Loyola University (Chicago) > Lake Forest College

Our son Eric was fortunate enough to meet Coach Weinstein when he was 8 years old. From the time Eric was 8 Coach Weinstein always made it a point to say hello to Eric as well as always give him a basketball coaching tip. As Eric got older and Mike saw his dedication and love for basketball he continued to mentor him. He was always checking in with us to see how Eric was doing both in basketball and in life. He is an overall coach who cares about every aspect in a kid’s life. We could call him at any time and more importantly so could Eric. He always responds to the kid’s in an open and honest way. Before Eric’s senior year he played AAU under Coach Weinstein. It was a great experience which really improved his game. He mentored Eric through his senior season in High School and then helped Eric with the college recruiting process. He knows everyone! Coach Weinstein is a great leader, coach and person. I recommend FU and Coach Weinstein to any kid who is serious about basketball.

Jim & Pam Barnard

Parents of Hayden Barnard
Metea Valley – 2013
University of Missouri

Our son Hayden met Mike the summer before his senior year of high school.  Being a center for Metea Valley High School, Hayden had many smaller mid-major  Division I schools interested in him, but did not receive an offer to play from a school that he was interested in was always Hayden's dream to go to a big school.  After a mediocre senior season, Hayden decided maybe basketball wasn't in his future and applied and was accepted to the University of Missouri.  We received a call from Mike Weinstein.  He had taken notice of Hayden in a holiday tournament and felt like with his  instruction and training Hayden could play for a major division I school.  Hayden decided to give it one last shot.... Mike's instruction and motivation was what hurdled Hayden to get an offer to play for the school that was his dream since he can remember.  It's obvious that Mike has the rare ability to motivate athletes as individuals. Mike mentored our son and Basketball became fun again. Needless to say, Mike's college contacts are extensive and he always puts the needs of his players first and foremost.  We just returned from a tour of Mizzou arena and meeting with the head coach (and staff).  Hayden still feels like its a dream.  We have Mike Weinstein to thank for this wonderful opportunity.  We can't thank him enough!

Brian McAuliffe

Parent of Andrew McAuliffe
Glenbrook North – 2013
Davidson University

Coach Weinstein has been assisting my son, Andrew McAuliffe, in the development of his basketball skills for the past seven years.  During Andrew's 2012 AAU season under the tutelage of Coach Weinstein, Andrew became a significant force as a 6'8" post player. Andrew's game definitely improved because of Coach Weinstein. Andrew's court awareness and ball movement elevated to a high level, Coach Weinstein made his players realize the importance of playing defense. Coach communicated the significance of fundamentals, work ethic, team responsibility, leadership, and the importance of good decisions on and off the court. Andrew is a better player and a better person because of Coach Weinstein's influence. Andrew is extremely well prepared to make whatever contributions he can to the Division I basketball program at Davidson College beginning in the fall of 2013. Most importantly, Coach Weinstein consistently reminded his players to have fun and enjoy the game, Andrew will certainly heed Coach's advice for the next four years and thereafter.

Kent Payne

Parent of Cully & Quinten
St Charles North
Cully: Iowa > Loyola (Chicago) | Quinten: Dartmouth

Mike has coached and mentored my two sons, Cully and Quinten the past 10 years. Mike is well trained in teaching, training and coaching the game. He is passionate about developing players and extremely loyal in getting each player to maximize their potential.  Mike takes great pride in finding the right college fit for the best experience academically, basketball wise and socially for each player in his program.

Todd Babington

Prairie Ridge
Austin Peay University

I joined Coach Michael Weinstein and Joy of the Game AAU basketball before the start of my senior year of high school (2003). I attended Prairie Ridge High School and had a very successful individual/team career. Prior to joining Coach Weinstein’s team I was barely noticed by college coaches at any level. After my fist tournament with Coach Weinstein I was instantly contacted heavily by Division I coaches. With the guidance and help from Coach Weinstein, combined with our AAU team success, I had official visits lined up with numerous Division I programs. I committed to Austin Peay State University (Ohio Valley Conference) and attended college from 2004-2008. I set numerous records at Austin Peay, was named the OVC Tournament MVP in (2008), and was fortunate enough to play in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Following my college career I went overseas to play professional basketball in Belgium and Holland before retiring. I am truly thankful and grateful that Coach Weinstein mentored and was heavily involved in my basketball career. I do not think I would be where I am at today without his coaching, guidance, and determination to see student/athletes proceed to the next level.

Ed Clamage

Parent of Lauren Clamage
Lake Forest Academy – 2013
Mcalester College

Bar none Mike Weinstien provides the best basketball coaching, training and expertise in the Midwest. Mike's training took my daughter's game to the next level. In addition, Mike develops special relationships with his players to help them achieve their potential on and off the court!  Mike Weinstien gets my highest recommendation as a basketball coach and trainer. He has a unique ability to recognize, explain and teach all aspects of the game. I name Mike as one of the top contributors to the success that my daughter has enjoyed at the high school level.

Kevin Stineman

Stevenson – 2009
SIU Edwardsville

One word to describe Coach Weinstein is passionate. I have never been around a coach or individual who truly loves basketball as much as him. He is extremely knowledgeable about the game and is 100% invested in developing his players and making them better in all areas: shooting, passing, defense and teamwork. He will never relax and let you take a break, he is going to get every ounce of hard-work out of his players because he knows that’s how you become great. With that being said, his credibility throughout the country and state of Illinois is widely recognized by high school and college coaches. As a player for Coach Weinstein he developed my game, got me the exposure I needed and wanted, advanced my college career and was a great mentor. Coach Weinstein’s intensity and passion when he coaches truly brings the best out of you as a player, he doesn’t let you go through the motions during drills, he makes sure your developing and working on the right things. He invests his time in his players because he wants to, if you’re a player that wants to learn and become better, Coach is going to make sure that happens. Every high school basketball players dream is to play college basketball. Playing for Mike Weinstein is a step in the right direction. His ties to the college basketball network are extremely tight and he is going to develop you into a college player. I was fortunate enough to travel the nation with Coach and get noticed by numerous college programs. He is going to put you in position for success! Coach Weinstein was a great mentor. He is always giving advice, teaching and coaching you to be a better player. I will never forget before my first college basketball game in Charleston, South Carolina, coach called me the day of the game and wished me luck and gave me a pep talk on what to focus on for the game. That’s the type of coach Mike Weinstein is. He is a coach who cares, in this day in age its hard to find people who want to give instead of take – Coach Weinstein is the coach who is going to help you become a great basketball player and provide you with the opportunity to live your dream of playing college basketball. I recommend playing for Coach Weinstein to any kid who wants to better their skills and go onto the next level. I personally had great success throughout my high school and college career, and I credit a lot of it to Coach Weinstein. He gave me the tools to advance my game to a level where I was fortunate enough to earn a college scholarship and degree. Coach Weinstein has done this for dozens of kids at every level, he is truly a fantastic coach!

Dan Nelms

Phillips Exeter
Davidson University

Coach Weinstein understands how to teach the game of basketball, but what makes him truly unique is the passion and care he puts into every kid who steps foot in the gym. If you want to be great, Coach will work tirelessly to make sure you develop the skills, toughness, and opportunity to realize your potential in basketball and beyond. You truly are an incredible coach and I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me

Ryan Paxon

Lake Forest HS
Olivet Nazarene

Coach Weinstein without question helped develop me as a basketball player. He instilled a self confidence and belief in me as a player that is needed as a high school athlete. But the thing I'll always be grateful for is, he was a coach that took an interest in me as a young man more than a basketball player. The player I became and the scholarship I received had a tremendous amount to do with Coach Weinstein

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