In a noteworthy NBA matchup on Wednesday, DME Academy alumni and twin brothers, Keegan and Kris Murray, found themselves on opposing sides as the Sacramento Kings hosted the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Kings secured a thrilling 121-118 victory in overtime, improving their season record to 3-4. Keegan played a pivotal role in the triumph, contributing nine points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal during his 31 minutes on the court. This game marked the first of three scheduled meetings between the Kings and the Trail Blazers this season.
Kris, making his third appearance of the season, took the court for nine minutes, showcasing his defensive prowess with a crucial block, notably against his brother.
In a heartwarming conclusion to this historic face-off, the Murray brothers demonstrated the true essence of sportsmanship by exchanging jerseys after the game. This symbolic gesture, a common tradition among athletes at the professional level, added a personal touch to the sibling rivalry that had unfolded on the court.
The sibling rivalry took center stage in this unprecedented NBA showdown, marking the first time Keegan and Kris faced each other on the basketball court at any level. Their basketball journey has been closely intertwined, from their shared experiences at DME Academy to their collegiate years at Iowa.
This matchup not only showcased the individual achievements of both players but also served as a testament to the caliber of athletes produced by DME Academy, further solidifying its reputation as a breeding ground for top-tier basketball talent.
To learn more about DME Academy’s prestigious basketball program, click here.
On November 8, DME Academy celebrated a momentous National Signing Day as six exceptional student-athletes officially committed to continuing their academic and athletic journeys at esteemed institutions.
Jaylen Robinson, a 6’6″ forward, chose the University of Richmond’s academics and men’s basketball program over a distinguished list of finalists, including Princeton, Mercer, Yale, Penn, and Columbia. Matt Panaggio, Director of Men’s Basketball at DME Academy, expressed his pride in Jaylen, stating, “I am very proud of Jaylen and excited to see his future at the University of Richmond. He’s very unselfish, coachable, and hardworking.”
Olivia Schmitt, a 5’5″ point guard from Staten Island, is heading back to her home state to study and play women’s basketball at Syracuse University. Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said, “She has a certain toughness about her. She can pass that ball; she can shoot that ball, and one thing I love about her is she has no problem going in with the trees and trying to make things happen.”
Keira Scott, a 6’1″ four-star forward and daughter of Syracuse football alum George Scott, will be joining DME teammate, Olivia Schmitt, at Syracuse University. Legette-Jack said, “Once we learned how incredibly gifted she was both academically and athletically, and she’s also got a connection to being Orange, it was a no-brainer that we were going to go after her as if she was the best player in the world.”
Tahj Bloom, a highly rated 6’3″ forward for DME Academy, signed with Mississippi State University as a four-star recruit, ranking No. 41 overall and No. 9 among forwards by Premiere Basketball and espnW HoopGurlz. Head Coach Sam Purcell said of Bloom, “She brings a dynamic skill set and competitive mentality each time she steps on the floor. Most importantly, Tahj comes from a great family and will be a great addition to the culture we are building at Mississippi State.”
6’2″ forward from Melbourne, Australia, Tabitha Betson, signed to the University of Colorado. A four-star recruit, Betson holds the No. 80 spot on ESPN.com’s top 100 list. Colorado head coach, JR Payne, said, “Tabs is one of the most skilled and well-rounded players we have recruited here at Colorado. Her basketball IQ is off the charts and will be a perfect fit for our offensive system.”
Ines Goryanova, a 5’8″ point guard from Sofia, Bulgaria, chose Baylor University. Ranked No. 49 on ProspectsNation and No. 71 on espnW, Goryanova impressed Baylor head coach Nicki Collen with her exciting guard abilities, deep shooting range, and the overall toughness cultivated through her mother’s extensive professional basketball background.
Michael Panaggio, Director of Girl’s Basketball at DME Academy, commemorated the day as historic for the program, stating, “We have 5 extremely special young ladies who are headed to the power 5 level. I am very proud of their individual success thus far and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish together during their senior year.”
DME Academy looks forward to witnessing the continued success of our class of 2024 basketball student-athletes, both academically and athletically. Congratulations to these outstanding student-athletes on this remarkable accomplishment.
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.
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.
The halls of DME Academy reverberated with the sounds of dribbling basketballs and the echoes of enthusiastic cheers as the renowned institution recently concluded another highly successful Summer Prep camp season. With a commitment to excellence and an unwavering dedication to nurturing aspiring athletes, DME Academy once again demonstrated its prowess in providing top-tier training and development opportunities for young athletes.
The Basketball Summer Prep camp, which took place from July 7 to 31, drew significant attention and anticipation as it quickly sold out, underscoring the eagerness of young basketball enthusiasts to elevate their game. Boys and girls aged 14 to 19 converged at DME Academy to participate in the intensive 25-day program. Designed to cater to serious basketball athletes seeking to advance to the next level, the camp provided a comprehensive platform for skill enhancement and game readiness.
Guided by DME’s seasoned coaches, each possessing a wealth of college and/or professional experience, the athletes were fully engaged in an immersive and transformational training program. DME Academy’s state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technologies complemented the training sessions, providing a dynamic environment for growth and improvement.
The basketball camp’s itinerary was meticulously crafted to provide a comprehensive experience. The athletes engaged in two on-court practices per day, accompanied by four strength and conditioning workouts per week to optimize their physical capabilities. Beach workouts added an extra layer of intensity to the program, enhancing endurance and strength. The inclusion of three Florida AAU events and approximately 15 games ensured that the athletes received exposure to high levels of competition. When they weren’t training, the DME campers enjoyed their down time visiting college campuses, taking group trips to the movies and mall, and catching a Daytona Tortugas baseball game.
Recognizing the importance of keeping families engaged in their athletes’ journey, DME Academy employed an array of tools to ensure parents remained well-informed and connected. Live-streamed home games brought the thrill of competition to parents’ screens, regardless of their geographical location, allowing them to witness the progress and dedication of their young athletes. Professionally recorded games, conveniently accessible through platforms like Hudl and Youtube, not only provided a chance for parents to review their children’s performances but also reinforced DME Academy’s commitment to transparency and quality. Furthermore, a dedicated WhatsApp group was established, facilitating the seamless sharing of daily updates, photos, and videos, enabling parents to experience the daily activities and progress of their athletes firsthand. This holistic approach to communication solidified the sense of community and collaboration between DME Academy, athletes, and their families, fostering an environment of trust and shared achievement.
The appeal of DME Academy’s Summer Prep camp transcended geographical boundaries. Campers flocked to the academy from near and far, underscoring the program’s reputation internationally. DME Academy proudly hosted groups from across the world, including Qatar and Switzerland.
Derrick Lang, the executive director of DLANG Training, brought over 35 players from Switzerland. Lang’s involvement highlighted the global recognition of DME Academy’s training expertise. Additionally, BE Basketball, a premier basketball program in Qatar and a valued partner of DME Academy, sent two athletes from Doha, Qatar, to benefit from the comprehensive training at the camp.
Reflecting on the remarkable success of the Summer Prep camp season, Matt Panaggio, Director of Basketball at DME Academy, shared, “Our goal is to create an environment where athletes can thrive both on and off the court. The Summer Prep camps embody our commitment to fostering growth, and it’s truly inspiring to witness the transformation of these young athletes over the course of the program.”
Beyond the basketball court, DME Academy’s dedication to comprehensive athlete development extended across sports. Baseball, Soccer, and Volleyball also stepped into the spotlight, hosting Summer Prep camps in July. The four camps welcomed over 150 athletes to DME’s campus, creating a melting pot of athletic talent and camaraderie.
The Summer Prep camps, while rooted in the pursuit of athletic excellence, evolved into much more than mere training sessions. They transformed into vibrant celebrations of sport, dedication, and the power of teamwork. As the athletes bid adieu to their summer training grounds, they carried with them not only enhanced skills but also a profound sense of belonging to a community united by their love for the game and their determination to be the best versions of themselves.
To be the first to know about DME’s Summer Prep camps in 2024, fill out the camp form 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!”
To learn more about DME Academy at St. John’s Northwestern Academies, click here.
DME Academy boys basketball student-athletes, Moustapha Thiam and Elijah Duval, have both earned spots on the prestigious ESPN Top 100 ranking list.
Moustapha Thiam, the 7’0” 200lb center for DME, earned the 51st spot on the list of 2025 recruits. Thiam’s impressive size, combined with his basketball IQ, make him an easy target down low and a scoring machine. Despite his age, he’s already a leader on the court and receiving offers from colleges who want him to be a part of their team.
Occupying the 76th spot on the 2024 list is Elijah Duval, a 6’2″ point guard for DME. He recently reclassified as a 2025 and transferred to DME, where he’ll have the opportunity to develop under an elite coaching staff, and showcase his talents against the top teams in the nation. Duval is a four-star, nationally-ranked playmaker with incredible court vision, who’s expected to do great things in Daytona.
If you dream of becoming an ESPN Top 100 caliber player like Thiam and Duval, check out DME Academy’s boys basketball program.
Daytona Beach, FL – On May 25, 2023, DME Academy and St. John’s Northwestern Academies (SJNA) announced an exciting new partnership between the two academic institutions.
Starting in the 2023-24 academic year, DME and SJNA will work together to amplify the sports program at St. John’s Northwestern in Delafield, Wisconsin. The joint venture kicks off with 11-year NBA veteran Wesley Person, currently at DME Academy in Daytona, Florida, bringing the successful DME basketball academy to SJNA. This move is the beginning of what both academies expect to be a deeper relationship whereby DME Academy will lead and grow more sports programs at the SJNA campus.
“We are so excited to partner with DME Academy,” said Bob Fine, President of SJNA. “They bring an instantly recognizable sports name to boost our already strong academic and athletic programs here at St. John’s Northwestern. Together with DME, the program has never been in safer hands, and the power of the two brands will provide our student-athletes with a pathway for success both on and off the court.”
The basketball brand of St. John’s Northwestern will be on show this summer at the 2023 NBA Draft by Brandin Podziemski ’21. The Lancer great is projected to be drafted in the first round and was named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Co-Player of the Year during his time at Santa Clara University. At SJNA, Podziemski racked up over 2,000 career points, was a three-time All-State honoree, and in 2021 he earned the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s Mr. Basketball, along with the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year.
DME Academy has quickly grown its Daytona campus from 75 to 225 full-time student-athletes over the past three years, built on a reputation for delivering a world-class experience. DME will be bringing in its elite admissions and recruiting team, which features an international arm, experienced coaches, support staff, relationships, and pathway opportunities for all student-athletes.
On the court, DME also brings with them a proven history of preparing players to excel at the top levels of the game. Just this season, DME Academy alumni Keegan Murray was drafted No. 4 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft and has broken into the scene in a huge way, smashing the all-time record for made three-pointers by a rookie with 206.
“As DME continues to grow, it’s essential to find the right partners that share our vision for providing a better experience for student-athletes. SJNA has a beautiful campus, academic success, great facilities, committed staff, and the shared belief that together we can accomplish more. We are ready to collaborate and bring the best of both institutions to the table,” stated Dan Panaggio, Founder of DME Academy.
With the new partnership, student-athletes who choose to join the “DME at SJNA” program will also have the opportunity to tap into SJNA’s 140 years of academic excellence, including dual enrollment college and AP courses, STEM curriculum, leadership development, and a top-level aviation program.
To learn more or apply to be a part of the DME at SJNA partnership in Delafield, Wisconsin click here:
Founded in 1884, St. John’s Northwestern Academies develops young men and women inspired to become responsible citizens and moral and ethical leaders for the global community through excellence in Academics, Leadership Skills, Spiritual and Character Development, and well-being through Athletic Activities and Healthy Life Habits. For more information, visit sjnacademies.org.
DME Academy’s Girls’ High School National and Boys’ High School Gold Teams Win Sunshine Independent Athletic Association State Championships
DME Academy, a prominent athletic institution located in Daytona Beach, Florida, recently made headlines for its outstanding performance in the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association (SIAA) state championships. Two of DME’s basketball teams, the Boys’ High School Gold, and Girls’ High School National emerged victorious and claimed championship titles in their respective divisions.
The boys’ basketball team, led by head coach Hocine Gaham, had a remarkable season. They dominated their opponents throughout the year, showcasing their superior skills and teamwork. The team worked well together and it was apparent they had been training all season for a championship battle against Montverde Academy. The final score was a close 50-49, with Traye Sturm leading the way with 19 points. DME Academy’s victory allowed them to claim the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association’s trophy for the 2022-2023 season.
Similarly, the Girls’ High School National team, coached by Michael Panaggio, put up a stellar performance in the championship game against Central Pointe. The team was led to victory by Olivia Schmitt who had 15 points in the 52-42 victory. Schmitt was also declared the SIAA league, tournament, and game MVP. The win crowned DME Academy as the SIAA state champions for the second year in a row.
“Watching our girls’ basketball team win the state championship was one of the proudest moments of my coaching career. Winning two years in a row is something to be proud of,” said Panaggio. “Their dedication, hard work, and perseverance throughout the season paid off, and they proved that anything is possible with determination and teamwork.”
The victories of both teams are a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by the coaches and players. Both coaches had carefully crafted game plans, and the players executed them with precision and focus. The academy’s emphasis on rigorous training and development of their athletic skills has undoubtedly paid off, and the teams’ success is a source of pride for DME Academy.
It is a significant achievement that will be remembered for years to come. Congratulations to the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams for their exceptional performance and for bringing home the SIAA state championship hardware!
Interested in learning more about DME Academy’s proven basketball programs? Check them out here!
Check out the highlights from the Girls’ National win over Central Pointe here!
DME’s High School National basketball team is beginning to see all of its hard work on the court pay off. For the first time in the program’s history, DME Academy has broken onto the scene and has become nationally ranked. Capitalizing on a pair of losses from Winston-Salem Christian and Huntington Prep, DME has claimed the No. 10 spot per MaxPreps.
The team sits behind Montverde, IMG, Link Academy, Prolific Prep, AZ Compass Prep, Sunrise Christian Academy, Wasatch Academy, La Lumiere, and St. Benedict’s Prep.
Led by head coach and DME director of basketball, Matt Panaggio, the High School National team’s current record is 11-4. Showing no mercy to their opponents, the team has amassed point differentials as high as 65 points, proving they are fierce competitors. Even in defeat, the team has only lost by 10 points.
“This year’s team is special,” said Panaggio. “Our team is very competitive and hungry to win. When they play together it’s a tough team to beat because of the natural chemistry they show towards one another.”
Each year, the DME basketball program gets stronger and stronger. That’s due to the recruitment of incredible athletes. With standout talents like Baraka Okojie, Alvaro Folguerias, Joseph Katsman, Nigle Cook, Robert Lizalek, Lauchlan Mark, Maor Nekrashevich, Petras Padegimas (who just committed to The University of Central Florida), and Yan Ryazantsev, it’s no wonder this team is making a name on the National stage.
With its recent recognition nationally, DME now has plenty to prove among top teams in the country. The remainder of the season will serve as an opportunity to continue climbing the rankings.
Get to know more about the HS National players here!