Valparaiso Basketball Camps
Roger Powell Jr.
Former University of Illinois standout Roger Powell Jr. has joined the Valparaiso men's basketball program as an assistant coach for the 2011-2012 season. Prior to arriving at Valpo, Powell spent the last six years playing professional basketball, including a stint with the Utah Jazz of the NBA.
A three-year starter for the Ilini, Powell earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten recognition in each of his final two seasons after being named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team as a sophomore. Powell helped Illinois to three Big Ten regular season titles and a pair of Big Ten tournament championships during his time with the Ilini, as well as berths in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.
Powell’s career at Illinois culminated in his senior year of 2004-2005, as he started all 39 games that season for the Ilini, averaging career bests of 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Powell helped Illinois to the most successful season in program history, as the Ilini won 29 straight games to open the season en route to finishing 37-2, spent most of the season ranked #1 in the nation and advanced to the national championship game of the NCAA Tournament. Powell closed his four-year Illinois career with 1,178 points, among the top-30 scorers in Ilini history, and 531 rebounds.
Following his collegiate career, Powell earned a spot in the Seattle SuperSonics training camp before eventually playing the 2005-2006 season for the Rockford Lightning of the CBA, where he earned CBA Rookie of the Year accolades. He then made the roster of the Utah Jazz for the 2006-2007 NBA season and spent the first half of the season with the Jazz before joining the Arkansas Rimrockers of the NBDL. Powell concluded the 2007 season with the Rimrockers, leading the NBDL with 22.3 points per game and earning the league’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, which is awarded to the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct on and off the court.
Powell spent time in the training camp of the Chicago Bulls in both 2008 and 2010, and has spent much of the last four years playing internationally. He has played in the top leagues in Italy (Teramo Basket), Israel (Hapoel Jerusalem), Spain (CB Murcia) and France (JDA Dijon). Most recently, Powell played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners of the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany, where he helped the Skyliners to a second-place regular season finish and a berth in the league semifinals.
Off the court, Powell founded RPJ Ministries Organization, which mentors and trains young leaders to be Godly examples on their sports team and school campuses. He also founded Integrity Sports Corporation, a company focused on building basketball skills and integrity of high school and junior high athletes. A 2005 graduate of the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign with a degree in speech communications, Powell and his wife, Tara, have one daughter, Bria.
Luke Gore enters the 2011-2012 campaign in his tenth season with the Valpo basketball program. Gore is in his second stint as a full-time assistant coach.
In his current role, Gore works with player development, with an emphasis on post play. Over his first eight years, Gore has guided seven all-conference post players and ten post players who have gone on to professional basketball careers overseas. Gore also works as director of Valpo’s summer basketball camps and is responsible for future game scheduling.
He also serves as recruiting coordinator, helping to sign recruiting classes ranked as high as 27th in the nation. Gore helped signed the top incoming class in the Horizon League entering the 2009-2010 season according to The Sporting News. He has recruited and coached players from all around the world during his time at Valpo, including players from Angola, Australia, Columbia, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Jamaica, Latvia, Mali, Montenegro, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Senegal.
In his eight years with the Crusaders, Valpo has made trips to the NCAA Tournament, the NIT and, most recently, the inaugural CBI. Over his tenure, the Crusaders have won 132 games, captured two Mid-Continent Conference regular season titles, and won one Mid-Con tournament title.
During the summer of 2008, Gore served as head coach for an Athletes in Action squad that traveled to West Africa. The team went 5-0 in games against African national teams, and spent time visiting orphanages and conducting coaching clinics throughout Mali and Senegal.
Before arriving at Valparaiso, Gore spent the 2001-2002 school year as an intern in the Fitness/Recreation Department at the University of Notre Dame. The next year, 2002-2003, Gore served as Assistant Director of Intramurals and Campus Recreation at VU while also beginning his tenure as a member of the Crusader basketball staff.
A starting forward at NAIA Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee from 1998-2001, Gore earned Academic All-America honors as a senior. He helped Bethel to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title during the 1998-99 season after transferring from Cumberland [Tenn.] University where he played his freshman year.
Gore graduated from Bethel in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and received a Masters of Arts in Sports Administration from Valpo in August of 2006. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Gore was raised in Paris, Tennessee.
Luke and his wife Cheryl currently reside in Valparaiso.
Jake Diebler enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Crusaders and third year overall as a member of the Valparaiso men’s basketball coaching staff after concluding a standout career on the court.
Diebler served as director of basketball operations during the 2010-2011 season, helping the Crusaders to a 23-win season, finishing just one game out of the regular season title, and a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. As a student assistant in 2009-2010, Diebler helped guide the Crusaders to 15 wins and a fourth-place finish in the Horizon League standings.
Known as one of the Crusaders’ hardest-working players on both ends of the court during his time as a player, Diebler set a Valpo Division I record by starting each and every one of the Crusaders’ 98 games over the final three seasons of his career. He also had a string of 278 consecutive minutes played over seven games in the final half of his senior season, believed to be a Valpo record as well.
Diebler ranked among the Horizon League top-10 in a trio of categories as a senior, finishing fourth in minutes played (33.8/game), sixth in 3-pointers made (1.8/game) and eighth in steals (1.3/game). He finished his Crusader career 10th in Valpo history with 130 career steals and 16th all-time at Valpo with 229 career assists.
Also a standout in the classroom, Diebler earned Academic All-League honors and Horizon League Academic Honor Roll mention during his career, as well as being named to the NABC Honors Court. Diebler graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Valparaiso in May 2009, and is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration.
Diebler, a native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, resides in Valparaiso. He and his wife, Tara, formerly a member of the Valpo volleyball team, were married in June of 2009.
Director of Basketball Operations
Will Phipps joins the Valparaiso men’s basketball coaching staff for the 2011-2012 season as the program’s director of basketball operations. Phipps comes to Valpo from Georgia Tech, where he spent the last two years serving as video coordinator for their men’s basketball program.
Phipps was part of a staff at Georgia Tech that helped guide the Yellow Jackets to the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, as well as the ACC Tournament championship game. In his time at video coordinator, Phipps saw three players that played for the Yellow Jackets chosen in the NBA draft. In addition to his video work, Phipps also served as director of the Georgia Tech Team Camp.
Prior to his time at Georgia Tech, Phipps spent four years as a student manager at Baylor, including his senior year as head manager. In his time at Baylor, the Bears advanced to the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, as well as the 2009 NIT championship game. Phipps worked extensively in the video realm during his tenure at Baylor, while also serving as the assistant camp director for Scott Drew Basketball Camps as a senior.
Phipps earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Baylor University in 2009. The Lubbock, Texas native currently resides in Valparaiso with his wife, Lauren.