Website Manager

A2Zoe & Lincoln Basketball Elite


A2Zoe Basketball Elite is a competitive AAU travel organization for boys and girls from 4th - 12th grade 

CEO Zoe Smallwood Coach Z

About Zoe and A2Zoe

My name is Zoe Smallwood, CEO and Founder of A2Zoe Basketball Elite

The goal of my program is to educate, train and develop all of my program participants to become the best "Student Athletes".  As you already know, basketball is a great tool to receive scholarships to many different colleges and universities. In order to have access to that, THE BOOKS COMES FIRST! We must hold each child athlete accountable, especially at this age and require that they take initiatives to be the best they can be. I am also to be held accountable to lead your children and show them how to achieve their dreams by using the game I fell in love with many years ago.

For me, having the opportunity to play professionally overseas and now being in a position to give back to our girls and boys what I have learned is a heartfelt passion.  I have been fortunate to find so many talented basketball players to train and develop.

Just to give a bit of background on me: I played professional basketball for 4 years in San Juan, PR.  I have been coaching for more than 13 years and have gained valuable experience coaching the Barrington Middle School Lady Bombers (6th, 7th, 8th grade girls), Bolingbrook Trojans (8th grade boys), Illinois Magic (5th grade boys, 7th grade girls, 8th grade boys, 8th grade girls, 9th grade boys and 9th grade girls) and am formerly the girls varsity head coach at Harvest Christian Academy in Elgin.

I have run a basketball training and development program on Sundays for the past 7 years with clients coming from as far as Willowbrook to Dekalb to train with me.  You can find my business page on Facebook and Instagram, please request my pages and feel free to see all the videos. My program and coaches are USA Basketball Certified, meaning we can play on the national level allowing us the opportunity to travel the country to play the best of the best. This is where your child gets the most exposure and opportunities to be seen by top college coaches and scouts.   Bottom line, my mission is to make your child athlete the "best them" they can be.  Thank your for stopping by to learn more about me and my program and Welcome to the A2Zoe Basketball Elite experience.

Coach's Corner

A Note  to Parents and Athletes Regarding AAU Basketball

As you are aware, the culture of basketball has changed, some for the good, some bad, however, the one thing that we all have fallen into is the mentality of winning something. Whether it is a gold medal around your neck, or a trophy that you can raise above your head for all to see, you are a champion in that moment.

Here is the question that I want to ask all of you...Is that all we are looking for? Winners are not defined by $3 gold medals. Now do not misunderstand what is being said here, it is okay to live in that moment of achievement, however, the goal of playing this sport must have a bigger mentality within not just the player, but also for the parents involvement. 

For those that do not understand what AAU basketball is about, here is the simple definition of it: AAU basketball is an avenue where College/University coaches, assistant coaches, and scouts can come out to see talented boys and girls from all walks of life play higher end basketball for the purpose of recruiting them to their schools. AAU basketball, if done correctly by a basketball program, shapes your child to be ready for that opportunity. How does an AAU program shape your child?

Here is how:
  1. Exposing your child's weakness in his/her game and making them stronger
  2. Keeping up with the child's education, making sure his/her GPA is high enough to qualify to play for any College/University.
  3. Continuous conversations with parents and players on opportunities that may be great avenues for your child to thrive in(Camps, College visits, etc.)
  4. Making sure he/she has a voice, getting them out of the mindset of being timid.
  5. Following the player on their social media sites making sure nothing negative is posted by them, or anyone else that tags them into negative atmospheres.
  6. Promoting players to College/University coaches, assistant coaches, and scouts with videos, bio, GPAs with the hopes that out of the thousands of kids they see or hear about, they take interest in yours.
The things that I listed above, and that is just a few things, trust me there is more, do we really want to end with just a $3 gold medal or trophy mentality? The thought process must change, for the betterment of all involved in AAU basketball, or any AAU sport, in my humble opinion. The idea of children, parents are at fault as well, of jumping from team to team to find a winning team, does not help the process of shaping your child, as a matter of fact, it hurts them

It does not teach your child loyalty to his/her team, and accountability. This is a growing trend in AAU basketball that needs to stop! If you cannot fight through hard times, would you rather run? Life lessons come from trials and tribulations...This is why I always say "You don't lose, you learn!" 

A current team of mind went through losing a few games. Of course with that naturally comes the mindset of saying "he is not doing this or that!" My coaches are spot on with my mentality that we teach is so easy to talk negatively about somebody else's flaws, but you don't realize at that moment you are not holding yourself accountable to help and encourage your teammate!

We played a scrimmage and were down 14 points at half, then something clicked! The philosophy we kept pushing and pushing surfaced, and they went on to a 14 point comeback, adding 15 points to win the game...together! Learning this mentality just doesn't happen overnight, it takes everyone to buy in and dig deep within themselves to play as a team! 

So in closing...we all can make the AAU basketball world a much better place for our children, if we all just remember the purpose of why your children play in this sport. It is never too late to change your mentality of the "$3 gold metal."

Are you ready to take accountability and start?

Coach Zoe "Z" Smallwood



A2Zoe Basketball Elite/Lincoln Basketball Elite

Elgin, Illinois 60123

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 331-200-0313

Contact Us

A2Zoe Basketball Elite/Lincoln Basketball Elite

Elgin, Illinois 60123

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 331-200-0313

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