Drew Ondik

17 Red Head Coach

In his 37th year of coaching youth basketball, Drew Ondik just can’t get enough of the game.

Upon graduation from Penn State with a degree in Mining Engineering, Ondik began his coaching career in Pittsburgh at Resurrection Grade School as head coach of the 8th grade boys squad.  After 4 years at Ressi, a job relocation landed Drew in Minneapolis, where he coached 8th grade girls for 2 years before becoming the JV girls head coach at Benilde‐St. Margaret High School.  After four years in the Twin Cities, job relocations moved the Ondiks to North and South Carolina, where 8th grade coaching assignments again were tackled.  

In 1995, a final job move brought Drew and his family to Chicago, and for the last 19 years he has coached in the Illinois Rockets travel program, while doing a 3 year stint as assistant coach for Naperville Central High School’s girls varsity team.  In addition to coaching in the Rockets program in the fall/winter, Coach Ondik began coaching AAU girls basketball in 2003, winning three Illinois AAU state titles at the 10U, 11U and 13U levels.  From 2007 to the present, he has coached 17U girls.

Coach Ondik has been married to his wife, Jane, for 30 years, and they have three children – Andrew, Danny and Emma – all of whom excelled in basketball at Naperville Central HS (all were all‐conference players).  Emma’s 2012/2013 DePauw University basketball team won the DIII National Championship and they were invited to the White House where they met with President and Michelle Obama.

Nicolette Rini

17 Red Asst. Coach

Cass Rufus

17 White Head Coach

Cass Rufus is preparing for his third season with the Illinois Rockets and his fifteenth year coaching high school level basketball. Coach Rufus is a highly talented basketball coach who possesses excellent leadership, training and mentoring skills.  He served as freshman head coach during the 2014-15 season at York High School.  He is a graduate of Elmhurst College and teaches fourth grade at Hawthorne Elementary in Elmhurst. He feels that coaching basketball and being able to help teach and develop young ladies who will use all aspects of teamwork, sportsmanship and goal setting throughout their lives makes coaching most enjoyable. 

Coach Rufus prides himself on developing challenging practice plans each and every session that build solid fundamental skills of the game. He looks forward to another successful and positive third season as a Rockets coach and hopes to create wonderful new relationships while instilling in the girls a love for basketball as each girl strives to be the best she can while adding to the program’s success. When not coaching or teaching he stays busy raising his three daughters.

Nevena Markovic

17 White Asst. Coach

Nevena Markovic was born in Serbia, and then moved to the United States when she was 10 years old.  She started playing basketball at the age of four and has been playing ever since.  Nevena played her high school basketball at Glenbard South High School, before receiving a full scholarship offer to division I IUPUI in Indianapolis.  At IUPUI she had an outstanding career, helping her team to two post-season tournaments and two twenty win seasons while scoring over 1,000 points. Nevena was also a part of U20 Serbian National team. Also this past season Nevena played professional basketball overseas in Spain’s first division. 

She has previous coaching experience at elite camps at IUPUI, at the grade school level in the Chicago area. Last season she was an assistant coach for the IL Rockets U17 team. Nevena has a true passion for the game and wants to give back to other players everything she has been taught throughout her basketball career.  

Being through it all, she can help the players with the recruiting process, and understands what college coaches are looking for in a player on and off the court.


Nate Gehrt

17 Black Head Coach

A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Nate Gehrt will be coaching for his 19th year.  Nate started his career right out of high school, coaching summer camps and summer leagues for Willowbrook High School for his former coach and mentor, Dennis Doyle.  After graduating from college, he taught and coached for two years for Bartlett High School as a sophomore assistant and freshman head coach. They went on to reach the state finals the year after his departure.  

Nate landed at Waubonsie Valley High School, where he coached at the sophomore level for one season, and served as an assistant varsity coach from 2004-2009, helping contribute to four Regional Championships and five straight 20-win seasons.  He later became the sophomore head coach for the next four years and coached last year as the freshman boys head coach.  He finally took on the challenge of coaching his oldest daughter’s youth basketball team (whose team was, of course, undefeated!).

Today, Nate is the head coach of the Rockets 15U White team.  Nate is excited to be part of the Rockets program and loves coaching and teaching.  He lives in Batavia with his wife, Shannon, and three kids, Kylee, Jackson, and Emerson.

Jamie Cuny

17 Black Assistant Coach: Jamie Cuny

Jamie grew up in Naperville, IL and went to high school at Naperville Central, where she played four years of varsity basketball.   She was a starter for three years, and a captain her last two years.  Jamie has been playing basketball since she was five years old, and played with the Rockets from eighth grade year up until graduation.  After graduating from NCHS, Jamie continued her playing career at the University of Illinois Springfield on a basketball scholarship.  After freshmen year she decided to play closer to home and transferred to North Central College.  She was named third team all-conference the past two years and currently holds the career, season, and single game block record for NCC. Jamie is a junior studying Mathematics and Secondary Education, and hopes to one day teach middle school math as well as coach. This will be her first year coaching with the Rockets and she is excited to share her love for the game, and help the girls become better basketball players. 



Tyler Spears

16 Red Head Coach

Tyler has lived in Lombard since he was 5 years. He was a two-sport athlete at Glenbard East HS, playing both basketball and baseball. He continued his baseball playing at College of Dupage before an injury shortened his playing career but helped begin his coaching career.

Tyler has been coaching both boys and girls basketball for 10 years now, including stints with Glen Westlake Middle School, the Glenbard East feeder/travel program, Dupage Training Academy, and the Mercury Elite travel club. He has worked with players aged 6th grade through 16U, and is excited to join the Illinois Rockets coaching staff!

Tyler works for Stern Pinball Manufacturing , a pinball company based in Elk Grove Village.

Erica Buck

16 Red Asst. Coach: Erica Buck

Erica grew up in Chicago and went to Queen of Peace High School where she was a four year three sport athlete. She competed in volleyball, basketball, and softball. When it came time Erica decided to stick with basketball and continue that and her education at North Central College. She is now a senior at North Central College and will be graduating with a Sports Management major and Coaching minor this June, 2016.  She played all four years at North Central and was a captain her senior year. Despite an injury her freshman year she played and contributed in every single game she was healthy for. 

This will be Erica’s first year coaching for the Rockets and she cannot wait to share her knowledge and love of the game with the girls she coaches.

Bill Baldridge

15 East Head Coach

Brandon Stanciel

15 West Head Coach

Bobbi Johns

15 West Asst. Coach

Igor Bakovic

14 East Head Coach

Igor chose to play his university basketball at Ryerson University in Toronto, serving as captain for three years. He was named tournament All-Star at multiple tournaments during his college career. He became the school’s all-time leading rebounder at Ryerson and third all-time in conference. Averaging a double-double each of the last three years of university and leading the country in rebounding during 2005-2006 season, Igor had the opportunity to transfer to many NCAA Division I schools but opted to finish his degree in Canada.

Following graduation from Ryerson University in 2008, Igor played four years of professional basketball in Greece, Austria, Germany and Bulgaria. His versatility and ability to play on the perimeter made him valuable at both the four and five positions.

Igor has strong interest in coaching; he is committed to helping both boys and girls realize their maximum potential while educating them on what it takes to get to the next level. At Ryerson University, Igor was awarded the Greatest Contribution to Ryerson Athletics Award, which is presented to only one male athlete each year. While in Europe, he spent many hours in the gym coaching the youth teams in Greece, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria. During 2012-2013 season, he was part of the North Central women’s basketball coaching staff, helping the team reach the playoffs and individually developing players which led to their all-conference team selection.  Igor and his wife Jordan also directed and coached for the girls’ program at TAW for four seasons prior to joining the Rockets.