Ignacio Rodriguez, International Recruiter for DME Academy, recently embarked on a remarkable journey that took him to the bustling city of Manila, Philippines. There, he took on the role of Assistant Coach and Scouting Analyst for the Jordanian National Team, participating in the prestigious 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. This extraordinary opportunity not only highlighted Rodriguez’s expertise but also underscored the far-reaching impact of his coaching journey from DME Academy.

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which commenced on August 25 and is set to conclude on September 10, has brought together basketball enthusiasts from all over the world. And for DME Academy, it marked yet another opportunity to showcase the quality of coaching and talent development that takes place within its walls.

Rodriguez has played an instrumental role in nurturing basketball talent over the years. Before his role with the Jordanian National Team, he was deeply involved with DME’s Post-Graduate Men’s Basketball team during the 2019-2020 season. Working alongside the former longtime DME Academy coach, Wesam Al-Sous, who is now the head coach of Jordan’s Men’s Basketball team, Rodriguez helped mold young athletes into formidable players. Notably, this period included the coaching of Kris and Keegan Murray, who have since made their mark in the NBA.

Fiba world cup
Ignacio Rodriguez coaching Kris and Keegan Murray at DME Academy.

At this year’s World Cup, Rodriguez and Al-Sous reunited to guide the Jordanian National Team. The team faced formidable opponents, including Greece, Mexico, USA, Egypt, and New Zealand. This international stage allowed Rodriguez to further showcase his coaching prowess, all while carrying the values and lessons learned from DME Academy.

Rodriguez, reflecting on his time at DME Academy, expressed his gratitude and admiration for the institution’s dedication to player development. “Working with Wesam at DME was an amazing experience for me,” he said. “I was new to the high school and post-grad level, and I saw the attention to detail and care for the players’ development and well-being firsthand. The 2019-2020 season was the first year DME was invited to the National Championship, and it couldn’t have been a better start for me. Once Wesam offered me the chance to work alongside him for the Jordanian National Team, I wanted to make sure that it would be something I could combine with DME. My passion has always been to help international student-athletes follow their dreams and get to the US to develop as athletes, students, and people, just like I did when I was younger.”

The impact of DME Academy, its coaches, and its alumni continue to resonate throughout the basketball world. Rodriguez demonstrated how a passion for basketball and a commitment to nurturing talent can take an individual from the halls of a respected academy to the global stage.

To learn more about DME’s impressive basketball development school, click here.

On Thursday, August 17, the NBA released the regular season schedule for the 2023-24 season. Basketball fans around the world are ecstatic, especially here at DME Academy as two of our most successful alumni, twin brothers Keegan and Kris Murray, are set to play against each other three times this upcoming season.

Keegan Murray, a former standout at the University of Iowa, is entering his second season with the Sacramento Kings after being drafted fourth overall in the 2022 NBA Draft by the team. He had an impressive debut last season, showcasing his talent as a versatile forward for the Kings and breaking the record for most 3-pointers in a rookie season. This season, Keegan is looking forward to building on his success and will need to bring his A-game when he faces his brother Kris Murray on November 8, December 26, and April 14.

Kris Murray, also a DME Academy standout and All-American at Iowa, was drafted 23rd overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 2023 NBA Draft. Kris is excited to make his mark in the NBA, and these matchups against his brother will be one of the many anticipated highlights of his rookie season.

DME Academy takes immense pride in its role in nurturing these extraordinary athletes. Our dedicated coaches, staff, and fellow students have avidly tracked their evolution from high school to collegiate ranks, providing unyielding support that has carried them to the grand stage of the NBA.

Furthermore, our anticipation extends beyond the Murray twin showdowns. The partnership between DME Academy and St. John’s Northwestern Academies (SJNA) promises additional entertainment. Brandin Podziemski, an alumnus of SJNA and a guard for the Golden State Warriors, is slated to face off against the Murray brothers a total of seven times this season – four times against the Kings and three times against the Trail Blazers.

As we eagerly anticipate these matches, DME is so proud to have these basketball greats representing our academy on the world stage. The Murrays have achieved so much in their high school and collegiate careers, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for these twin basketball sensations.

To learn more about DME Academy’s prestigious basketball program, click here.

WTMJ – Greg Matzek

One of the most historic educational institutions in the state of Wisconsin is evolving. ‘St. John’s Military Academy’ is now, ‘St. John’s Northwestern Academies’ (SJNA).

The dropping of the word “military” from its official name is not to shy away from what could be perceived as a negative connotation, but rather to signify the evolution of the college preparatory school founded in 1884.

The school’s offerings now include military, leadership and athletic academies. The latter is the most recent development. 

“With AAU and club teams and club sports, there are a lot of families that are looking for schools where their child could specialize in a specific sport,” says SJNA President, Robert Fine Jr.

The athletic offerings are thanks to a partnership with Florida’s DME Academy. The leader of the basketball program at DME is former NBA sharpshooter, Wesley Person.

“He’s not here just to create future NBA’ers,” Fine continues. “He’s here to develop young men and women…we’re starting with basketball, but this is going to expand to other sports as well.” 

Person is now embedded in the school’s DNA as the face of a basketball program that produced Brandin Podziemski. A first-team all-state performer in High School, Podziemski was selected in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. 

“Having Brandon being drafted gives the kids an opportunity to look up to something,” Person said. “Having him drafted by the Golden State Warriors can only help.”

So too can Person, who finished his 11-year NBA career as a 41.8 percent three-point shooter. 

“The opportunity to have a national team here in this area — we can tap into the Midwest and hopefully draw some interest and get kids the exposure they need.”

From Daytona Beach to Delafield, Person is looking to make a splash with local, regional, and world-wide recruiting. Having played professionally for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he knows the best way to beat the cold is to be in the gym. 

Jokingly, Person quipped, “I still got my coat!”

View the full story from WTMJ here.

To learn more about DME Academy at St. John’s Northwestern Academies, click here.