Our team

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms
MP for Newham & NASSA Patron

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms, MP for Newham, is not only NASSA’s Patron, he is also one of our passionate supporters. Stephen has been with NASSA on every step of our journey over the past 12 years.

He offers us advice whenever we need it, lends his influence to help us organise events and even shows off his basketball skills on the court by participating in our annual Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) event challenge match against the Metropolitan Police.

NASSA would not be the same without Stephen.

“Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) has made a remarkable contribution to Newham since 2006 and I am proud to be its patron. The first London club to achieve the Five Star Club mark from England Basketball, its teams have won national titles across all age groups.

“I have hosted NASSA’s annual awards ceremony at the House of Commons since 2009 to celebrate young people’s success on and off the basketball court. The Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) project supported by the Metropolitan Police has enthused many young people in Newham and has made a powerful case for positive involvement in sport instead of the negative alternatives.”

Rt Hon Stephen Timms, MP for Newham

Natasha Hart MBE
NASSA Founder and Chief Executive

NASSA founder Natasha Hart MBE has been helping to change the lives of young people in east London since 2005 when she first took her two sons to Balaam Park for an impromptu basketball lesson. Overwhelmed by the demand after 30 other young people joined in within a few weeks, Natasha set up NASSA as a charity in April 2006 with just £20 in the bank. Natasha works tirelessly as NASSA’s Chief Executive meeting with partners and potential funders as well as overseeing NASSA’s community, schools and club programmes.

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Anthony Okereafor
NASSA Programmes Coordinator
Carry A Basketball Not A Blade creator

Anthony was a NASSA player when one of his friends was stabbed to death in a nearby London park in 2008. Without basketball as his focus, Anthony realised that he could have been the victim that day and vowed not to exact revenge, but to change the lives of his peers for the better. With NASSA’s help, he created the Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative which educates over 3,000 schoolchildren in Newham alone each year on the dangers of knife crime and gang culture.

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Ivan Speck
Director of Communications

Ivan joined NASSA in 2013 after leaving the Daily Mail for whom he had worked for 15 years as a sports features writer, including six years as its tennis correspondent. Ivan oversees all NASSA communications, as well as funding bids and awards submissions. In 2014, NASSA was named overall Charity of the Year at the prestigious Charity of the Year Awards. Ivan continues to use his extensive contacts within sport and the media to enhance NASSA’s profile.

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Donnie Cabrera
NASSA Head Coach

A former basketball player at National League level, Donnie joined NASSA in the summer of 2019 and has made an instant impact. This has been due especially to the intense passion which drives on Donnie’s desire to coach young people to fulfil their potential. Donnie has overall responsibility for NASSA’s National League club programme, as well as for the NASSA Academy which was formed in partnership with Mayfield School in September 2019.

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Framaz Dar
NASSA Coach and Administrative Officer

Framaz brought his twins sons Ilyas and Kyan Dar to begin their basketball journey at NASSA in 2014. He quickly fell in love with the NASSA ethos and began volunteering. Having been trained as a basketball coach by NASSA, Framaz now assists with the NASSA Under-16s National League side and works tirelessly on the administrative side, arranging courts and travel for all National League fixtures. His youngest son Darrys is now a NASSA player, too.

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Luis Sanchez

Luis is a former professional basketball player in his native Spain. He joined NASSA in 2017 and has gained his coaching badges through us. He is now Head Coach of NASSA’s Under-16s team.

Email Luis

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