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NuStep Basketball is an organization founded by Omar Nicholls and Elisha Romain in 2013. It has grown from providing training for a small group of kids in a church basement gym, to being the top provider of high-level training and competitive youth basketball programs based in downtown Toronto.


NuStep Basketball is now a division of NuStep Athletic Association, a registered not-for-profit corporation with a mission to deliver affordable, high-quality youth sports programming in Canada. NuStep delivers programs that help to support the growth of Canadian basketball and is home to players at every level who seek to develop to their highest potential and transform into more skilled athletes and players.


Programs include beginner to advanced drills and skills training for youth ages 7 to 18 who are interested in learning the fundamentals of the game. NuStep’s competitive team program is geared toward developing advanced players through high level competitive play throughout Canada and the US. Other programs include house leagues and private or group training sessions that deliver the highest level of player development. All NuStep programs offer access to on and off-court athletic skill, strength and conditioning training; mental conditioning and health supports; nutritional planning; academic support; mentorship; and life skills development.
Omar Nicholls runs NuStep Basketball Academy’s Drills & Skills Training program for a small group of kids out of the basement gym of a church located in on Danforth Avenue in Toronto.
Omar leads the Durham City Basketball Association’s Novice Boys A team to an undefeated OBA season in his first year as a Head Coach, bringing home the gold medal from the Ontario Cup Championships and finishing off with a 29-0 record. Omar receives the Amateur Basketball Syndicate (ABS) Coach of the Year award, recognition awards from the mayors of Ajax and Whitby and is featured in a Toronto Star Newspaper Article.
NuStep introduces two competitive basketball teams for the 2015/16 season and expands it’s Drills & Skills Training program.
Recognizing the need for affordable, high-quality youth sports programs in downtown Toronto, NuStep Athletic Association is registered as a not-for-profit corporation and becomes the administrative umbrella for NuStep’s basketball academy. NuStep grows to three competitive teams and starts to gain more recognition from the community and funding support.
NuStep grows to five teams and, with the help of the Canada Summer Jobs Grant, is able run its first summer basketball camp and hire its first paid employees ever: three at-risk youth who were also NuStep participants. NuStep programs expanded to include dry land training; life skills training; mentorship; and academic supports.
NuStep has its most successful season yet, growing to six competitive teams and solidifying itself as the top basketball organization based in downtown Toronto. NuStep teams celebrated five championship wins in local tournaments and leagues throughout the season, culminating in another win at the AAU Basketball International Championship held at the ESPN Center in Orlando, Florida.
NuStep partners with STLA Basketball and TCFW Performance and expands to add development teams and also introduce an all girls development program and house league.
NuStep programs are designed to empower young people with self-confidence and the life and leadership skills they need to become productive members of their communities.


Through NuStep, participants are not only active in sports but in their communities as well as we strive to help youth develop an understanding of the importance of giving back through fundraising and volunteer work. NuStep players, staff and their families have participated in group volunteer work with Toronto-based organizations such as Holiday Helpers, The Esplanade Community Group, The Daily Bread Food Bank, Riverdale Action Housing Group and Houselink Community Homes.


NuStep’s most recent partnership is with The Kickback, a youth-led organization founded by Jamal Burger whose love for sneakers drives the ambition of making high-level sport, art and media accessible to underserved communities.

Coaching Staff
Omar Nicholls
Founder/Head Coach & Trainer

Omar Nicholls has been involved with the game of basketball for over 30 years not only as a player but as a coach, trainer and consultant. He is Founder, Director and President of NuStep Athletic Association and Head Basketball Coach and Trainer for NuStep Basketball and the Toronto French School. More

Dane Smith
Lead Trainer

Dane Smith is an international professional basketball player, actor, model and entrepreneur. Smith has been featured in numerous commercials for major brands such as Nike, Axe Canada, WeTheNorth and the Toronto Raptors. He also participated in the NBA’s first-ever international campaign for NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto and the 2016 Celebrity Game for team East. More

Larry Freedlander

Larry Freedlander will be returning to coach for NuStep during the 2023/24 season. Bio coming soon.

Quincy Romain

Quincy Romain will be joining NuStep for the 2023/24 season as an assistant coach for our U15 grade 8 boys team. Bio coming soon.

Jamal Francois

Jamal Francois was a former NuStep player and will joining NuStep as an assistant coach for the 2023/24 season. Bio coming soon.

Troy Simmons

Troy Simmons will be joining NuStep for the 2023/24 season as an assistance coach. Bio coming soon.

Elisha Romain
Co-founder/Managing Director

Elisha Romain is Director/Secretary & Treasurer of NuStep Athletic Association. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto and has over 20 years of experience providing professional office, administrative, and client support services for businesses and professionals worldwide. More

Dalton Higgins
Business Development Advisor

Dalton Higgins is a leading Toronto-based publicist and public relations strategist, best-selling author, National Magazine Award-winning journalist and arts festival producer. His roster includes clients who have won BET Awards, Emmy Awards, Mercury Prize and Juno Awards, in addition to Grammy Award and Polaris Prize  nominees. More

Tricia Morris
Administrative Assistant

Tricia Morris has been helping NuStep behind the scenes as an administrative assistant. Bio coming soon.

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