teams and coaches

Ben Stirt - Head Program Coach, Director of Skills Training

Coach Ben played college basketball at Carnegie Mellon University, and also worked on the staff for the Pitt Men's Basketball Team. While earning his master's degree in sports management from the University of Florida, Ben started training players and coaching travel basketball. His 7th grade team won the USSSA National Championship in 2011, and he has worked with hundreds of basketball players in FL, PA, and NJ. His coaching philosophy is to teach fundamentals and build basketball IQ in order for players and teams to unlock their full potential. Ben also works as a college and professional basketball referee with the NCAA and NBA development program.

Kyle Burke - Coach / Trainer

Coach Kyle began working with Ben Stirt and Court Vision in 2015, and joined Pennington Basketball in 2016 as a trainer for all levels and head coach of the 8th grade boys’ team (s).  Kyle was a 3 year starter at Hackensack High School, earning All County honors his Senior year, and is the all time leading 3pt shooter in Hackensack High school history.  He was a 4 year starter at The College of New Jersey, earning All Conference honors his Sophomore and Senior years, was a 1,000 point scorer, ranks in the top 10 in points scored in school history, and is the all time leading 3 point shooter in TCNJ history.  Kyle has been doing individual trainings, camps and clinics since high school, and loves working with kids, teaching basketball and exercising.

Kyle Higgins - Coach / Trainer:

Coach Kyle joined Pennington Basketball in 2016 as the 6th and 7th grade head coach, and brought with him several years of experience as a player and coach. His athletic career developed at Hopewell Valley Central HS where he was a three sport varsity athlete in football, basketball and lacrosse.  HIs passion for playing football continued at the collegiate level where he played wide receiver at Castleton University.  While pursuing his degree, Kyle discovered another passion: coaching youth sports. His coaching career began at Hopewell Basketball Recreation League where he coached boys ages 8-13 years, from 2013-2016.  Since then he has held a variety of positions including Hopewell Valley Lacrosse League 7th and 8th grade head coach 2016-2017, Turnpike Lacrosse Elite Club Team assistant coach 2016-2017 and Piscataway HS Football wide receivers coach 2016 and quarterback coach 2017.  In addition, Kyle has coached at camps, clinics and combines at all levels for basketball, football and lacrosse.

 Kirsty Stearns-Tsalyuk – Coach / Trainer:


Coach Kirsty began working with Pennington Basketball in 2019 as a Coach/Trainer for all levels. Kirsty coaches 5th grade girls travel and is also working with the recreation program. Kirsty’s philosophy has developed from many years as a player, coach and trainer. Kirsty grew up in Ridgewood, NJ then moved to Long Island during her high school years and went to Oyster Bay High School. She received many awards throughout her high school career and was a dedicated AAU player throughout middle school and high school. Kirsty went to Moravian College and received many accomplishments throughout her college career and was named a Division 3 All-American, All-Region, All-Conference and 1,000 Point Scorer. She also led her team in rebounds and free-throw percentage, naming her 4th in the nation in Division 3 schools for free-throw percentage her sophomore year. 

Kirsty has coached various girls’ teams and has done individual training since she graduated in 2010, ranging from elementary to high school levels. Kirsty emphasizes developing and working on the fundamentals of basketball to create a solid foundation, taking the players game to the next level. She believes that basketball is an ideal venue to teach attributes such as discipline, competition, self-confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship and believes these teachings at an early age is important for our kids future.

Chantille Kennedy – Coach / Trainer


Chantille is the middle school basketball coach and a school counselor at The Hun School.  Chantille played college basketball at Bryn Mawr.  Prior to her work & coaching at Hun, she completed her masters degree in Education Counseling & Mental Health at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Gene Lambert – Trainer


Gene has coached and trained with PBA since 2017.  Gene is a long time Mercer County resident and works with Next Level Youth, a non-profit basketball program.  His work with youth basketball ranges from elementary ages to high school age.

Devon Quattrocchi - Trainer


Devon is an assistant girls basketball coach at TCNJ. Prior to TCNJ, Devon was a graduate assistant at Smith College (MA). Devon also played her college ball at Smith College and was New England Women's All Region Selection.  After college, she played in Europe for Vaerlose Basketball Klub in Denmark.