GOAL: CONTINUE TO CHANGE THE LIVES OF YOUNG MEN THROUGH THE GAME OF BASKETBALL.
MOKAN founder Matt Suther knows both sides of basketball: playing and coaching. A first team all-state selection in Kansas in high school, Matt enjoyed a successful collegiate career at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Graduating with a liberal arts degree, Matt also completed his master’s degree in sports management at UMKC.
Desiring to share his basketball experiences with a younger generation, Matt formed and coached what would become the original MOKAN team in 2004. Matt currently oversees all aspects of MOKAN from fundraising, business development and programming.
Serving in various management roles in the financial and insurance industries for more than 10 years, Matt has kept his passion for basketball alive through his work with MOKAN.
Co-Founder / Program Advisor
GOAL: TO HELP STUDENT-ATHLETES REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL BOTH ON AND OFF THE COURT.
Instrumental to the growth of MOKAN, Rodney Perry has provided participants with strong leadership and mentoring. Widely respected in basketball circles, Rodney played on an NCAA tournament team while at Missouri State University graduating with a degree in physical education. His extensive coaching experiences include time at the high school, NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NAIA level.
As the current head coach at Avila University, Coach Perry is in the gym year round whether it’s with his current college student-athletes or MOKAN participants. His knowledge of the recruiting process from both the player and coach perspective is invaluable while assisting MOKAN participants with the decision making process.
In 2012, Coach Perry guided the MOKAN 17u team to its best appearance to date in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam finishing in the Final Four. Rodney has received numerous national accolades for his work in youth basketball including invites to coach at the Nike Global Challenge and Nike Elite 100 camp. The list of student-athletes that have been mentored and coached by Perry increases each year as he has a constant hand on developing youth in the metro KC area.
Co-Founder / Program Advisor
GOAL: TO PREPARE YOUTH FOR COLLEGE AND LIFE IN GENERAL, BY EXPOSING THEM TO WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
A constant presence in the youth basketball scene in Kansas City, Jim Huber has devoted a large portion of his professional career towards developing youth through sport. A graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Jim also played collegiately at Avila University.
A former college head coach at Avila University, Jim brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and coaching experience to MOKAN. His relationship with MOKAN founder Matt Suther dates back to Matt’s playing days at UMKC when Jim served on the UMKC coaching staff. In 2010, Jim led the expansion of the MOKAN program to include programming for those in third through eighth grade more than doubling the opportunities MOKAN provided to area youth.
As head coach of the MOKAN 17u team, he led this group to earn a spot in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam tournament held in N. Augusta, S.C. in July 2013. Receiving national recognition for his coaching efforts, Jim was selected to coach at the Nike Elite 100 camp as well as the Nike Global Challenge that featured the top amateur basketball talent from the U.S., Brazil, France, Canada & Africa.
Assisting Matt Suther with the original MOKAN team, Jim has been instrumental in helping more than 70 high school student-athletes earn college scholarships.
Director of Youth Programming
GOAL: TO GIVE KIDS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD GRIT AND RESILIENCE INTO THEIR PERSONAL CHARACTER.
Drew Molitoris has been involved in the basketball industry in some capacity since 1999. While earning a degree in health and physical education from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree from Florida State University, he served on the basketball staff at both universities. Drew assisted with all facets of both basketball programs including recruiting, player development, film breakdown, scouting and public relations. During his time at UGA & FSU, he was a part of two NCAA tournament teams and worked with five future NBA players.
Originally from Atlanta, Drew came to Kansas City in 2007 to serve as the Director of Basketball Operations at UMKC where he was introduced to MOKAN founder, Matt Suther. While coaching a middle school team in spring 2011, Drew became captivated by the opportunity to combine mentoring and coaching with a diverse group of students. With MOKAN, Drew assists in all aspects of the program from fundraising, academic assistance, curriculum development and special events.
Director of Operations
GOAL: TO GIVE YOUNG MEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO EARN A FREE EDUCATION.
Growing up in Olathe, Derek Evans is well aware of the rich basketball tradition in the Kansas City area. While earning a bachelor’s degree in sports management at the University of Kansas, he worked with the Adidas office within the Kansas athletic department giving him a behind the scenes look at high level college athletics.
While earning a master’s degree in Sports Studies at Kansas, he simultaneously served as a graduate assistant for the UMKC basketball program where he met fellow MOKAN staffer Drew Molitoris. At UMKC, Derek assisted with all aspects of program specializing in game film breakdown and edits.
Prior to joining the MOKAN staff in 2012, Derek was accepted into the prestigious Teach for America program and taught middle school math at an inner city public school in Jacksonville, FL. Derek’s draw to MOKAN has a significant personal connection as he cites his former youth coaches and mentors as some of the most influential people in his life. Growing up with his father incarcerated, Derek has the unique ability to relate to a situation familiar to MOKAN participants today.
Derek assists with all aspects of the organization including day to day operations, youth programming and business development.
GOAL: TO PROVIDE FIRST CLASS ACADEMIC SUPPORT SO STUDENT-ATHLETES CAN MAXIMIZE THEIR COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES.
With more than 15 years of experience in education, Claudia Meyer has been instrumental in the development of MOKAN’s academic programming. Claudia spent five years as a foreign language teacher in the Blue Springs school district prior to shifting over to serve as a high school guidance counselor. As a counselor, she provided academic assistance, assessed college and career readiness and assisted with grant writing in addition to leading individual and group counseling sessions.
Meyer currently handles business development for Infinite Energy Construction in Kansas City. With MOKAN, Claudia is responsible for transcript evaluation, coordinating tutoring services and ongoing academic programming.