Oakland Soldiers' C.E.O. Mark Olivier, a long time friend and associate of MAD Director John Murray, has hired Murray Athletic Development to administer their Sports Performance Program. MAD Technical Coordinator Ali Thomas will spearhead the incorporation of MAD's Mind, Body, Skills Curriculum and its integrative practice plans into the Soldiers' athletic development and training regimens. The three San Francisco natives will work with Marshall Collins, the Oakland Soldiers Director of Operations and Head Coach of their elite 17 and under team, along with the rest of the Soldiers' dedicated coaches and staff, to provide Bay Area youth with the highest quality athletic training and development.


The Oakland Soldiers are part of Student Athletes Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to academic excellence and providing student athletes with the skills and opportunities to succeed both scholastically as well as athletically. The Soldiers have a history of success, with players such as Lebron James and Chauncey Billups numbered among their alumni. Today they continue their winning tradition, as their teams are perennially among the best AAU teams in the country.


Recently, the Soldiers purchased JamTown in the Jack London District, and have undertaken a massive renovation. They have just completed phase one of the project in which they revamped their courts from the hardwood to the lights overhead.


As part of the Soldiertown Grand Opening, MAD conducted Sports Performance basketball clinics which the Soldiers provided to the local boys and girls for free. From 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., MAD offered three separate clinics for various age groups, and during those 4 1/2 hours over 100 kids, ranging in age from 8 to 18, participated in the basketball workouts. On October 7, the Soldiers held tryouts for their boys basketball teams, and as part of the player evaluation process, MAD administered drills based on its Mind, Body, Skills Training Program. These consist of exercises focusing on breathing, core strength and conditioning, and balance, which Coach Ali Thomas, MAD's Technical Advisor and Director of Player Development, integrated into basketball specific drills. Once again, well over 100 young athletes took part in the tryouts.


To learn more about the Oakland Soldiers and SoldierTown, visit