About Sam

About Sam Doner

In the eighth grade Sam Doner discovered basketball and was instantly drawn to the game. Since that time, his passion for the game along with a love of the players he coaches has driven Sam in his unrelenting quest to become known as the best basketball clinician, skills trainer, and coach. A 7th grade math teacher and basketball coach, Sam Doner has perfected the formula for creating extraordinary basketball players. In basketball, like mathematics, the basic skills and drills must be mastered in order for one to truly begin to excel. Sam has the ability to break down and teach the most important aspects of the game to anyone willing to learn. His methods for teaching the exact same skill vary from player to player and make his approach to teaching/coaching basketball almost mystical. Sam’s ideas and ability to impart them are simply different from anyone else out there. His unique programs include fifth-graders to Division 1 college players all working out together. However, Sam has moved way beyond the traditional one drill at a time for everybody approach to focus on the needs of individual players. His clinics are described as: “There is no class system, based on gender, age or skill level. Sam makes it work. ““He really puts his heart and soul in it.’’ “He’ll take the most unskilled player and improve them to the point that you won’t even recognize them on the court within a matter of weeks’’.

When you first experience one of Sam Doner’s clinics, either as an observer or as a participant, you will instantly be in awe and can’t help but be blown away. The combination of his genius, the way he can motivate kids and his ability to give players the exact drill they need to improve… is truly an amazing thing.

For of all of these reasons, Sam Doner is the best clinician and skill developer in youth basketball. Without fail he is able to motivate and achieve “buy in” from his players, driving his athletes to perform at the highest level they are capable of. Sam creates a very safe & positive environment for his players and they succeed because they have no fear of failure.  He genuinely believes in every player. He is able to exact dramatic improvement from several players simultaneously because he is not married to the philosophy that everybody has to do the same drills at the same time. His goal is to turn every kid into a skilled player and not a piece of any particular system. Sam’s philosophy for Doner Elite Basketball is clearly stated when he says “I let the kids play free, let them believe in themselves. I want to give them a work ethic that will stay with them the rest of their lives. “

At the end of the day the improvement in basketball skills and self-concept is unmatched.

Doner played at and graduated from Westfield State College and got his first coaching job, as an assistant men’s coach at Mount Ida in Newton. Three years later, a full-time teaching job opened at Weymouth Middle School, where he was also an assistant varsity coach. From 2003 to 2006, he coached at Medway High, first at the junior varsity level before taking over the varsity in January 2004.  Since 2008  Doner has been the head coach for the Newton South Girl’s Varsity Basketball team. Sam has also been extremely successful as an AAU basketball coach for the Mass. Pumas and currently for the Bay State Jaguars

Coaching Experience & Accomplishments

High School:

  • Newton South High School Head Varsity Woman’s Basketball Coach (2008 Present)
  • 2008/9 MIAA South Sectional Semi Finalist
  • Medway MA High School Head Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach (2003-2006)
  • Weymouth MA High School Ast Varsity Men’s  Basketball Coach (2002-2003)

AAU:

  • Head Basketball Coach – Bay State Jaguars Elite (2006-Present)
  • 2009 U15 Mass State Champions
  • 2009 U13 Mass State Champions
  • U13 Hersey Jr Nationals Final 4
  • 2009/2010 Placed 7 of 10 14U on their respectful High School Varsity teams as Freshmen
  • 2008 U14 U.S Jr. Nationals Final Four (3rd)
  • 2008 U16 Massachusetts State Tournament Silver Medal
  • 2008 U14 Massachusetts State Champions
  • 2007 U15 Massachusetts State Tournament Final Four (4th)
  • 2007 U13 Massachusetts State Tournament Bronze Medal
  • 2007-2008 Placed 10 of 11 14u team members on their High School varsity team as Freshmen
  • President and Founder of the Mass Pumas, Concord, MA (2004-2006) – Head Basketball Coach
  • 2007 placed 10 of 11 team members on their College Varsity team, including D1, D2, D3.
  • 2006 U16 Super Regional Champions and Massachusetts State Champions
  • 2005 U15 Super Regional Champions and Massachusetts State Tournament Bronze Medal
  • 2004 U14 Massachusetts State Tournament Final Four

College:

  • Mount Ida College, Newton Centre,  Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach (1999-2002) (NAC Champions 2001)

CLINIC & CAMP EXPERIENCE:

  • Director &Co-Creator, DONER ELITE ACADEMY (2008-Present)Director and Creator, DONER ELITE CLINICS (2003 Present)
  • Director and Creator, DONER ELITE Camps (2003-Present)
  • Program Director, Swish (Summer 2000-2004)
  • Camp Commissioner, Rising Stars (Summer 2000-Present)
  • Assistant Camp Director, A Step Ahead (Summer 1995-2003)
  • Program Director, Mount Ida College (Summer 1999-2002)
  • Assistant Camp Director, Newton North (Summer 1995-2000)
  • Camp Counselor, Boston College (Summer 1995-1996)