Jon Lawniczak

Director Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball

A leading national advocate for young female athletes, Jon Lawniczak is on the forefront of driving policy and generating higher education opportunities for aspiring girls basketball players as both a coach and athletic administrator.

A native of Farmingdale New York, he attended St. Anthony's High School (Long Island), where he played Boys Varsity Basketball, capturing a coveted CHSAA League Championship. He went on to attend and play Basketball for Hobart & William Smith College, current member of the highly acclaimed Liberty League. As a student-athlete and member of the Men's Basketball Team, he helped lead his team to the 2000-01 conference title and birth in the Division III NCAA Tournament. 

Following college, Jon continued his involvement with the game through coaching opportunities on the girl's side. He first joined the coaching staff of St. Dominic High School's Girls Basketball Program, where he served as JV Head Coach and Assistant Varsity Coach for four years. In 2008 he teamed up with renowned coach Rich Slater to serve as Associate Head Coach for Long Island Lutheran High School, and helped set the program on a trajectory of dominance in New York girls high school basketball. Known as 'Title Town,' LuHi has garnered four New York State Federation Championships over the past seven years, and continues to propel players into the ranks of collegiate basketball. Under their vigilant stewardship, 24 LuHi Crusader Alumni have moved on to play for college programs including Harvard, Michigan, Seton Hall, Sacred Heart, Vermont, Colgate, PACE, St Rose, Trinity and more. 

Jon also became involved with AAU Basketball, and in 2004 the Long Island Lightning appointed him head coach of a particularly promising young group of girls. In 2008 he was promoted to Associate Director, and in 2010 took over as Director of the Girls Program. During this era, the organization continued to evolve structurally, becoming better positioned for sustainable growth and greater impact. As a director Jon has taken the Girls program from 17 teams in 2008 to presently 101 teams. Additionally, his team began fulfilling their potential and achieving national prominence. In 2011, Lightning Basketball was awarded the AAU Vision Award in recognition of its growth and accomplishments, and in 2014, Jon was named Director of Basketball Operations. 

The Lighting continues its reign as the largest and most comprehensive AAU basketball program in the United States, each year drawing more than 750 players to Tryouts to fill vacancies on existing teams as well as form new ones. More than 850 Lightning Alumni have gone on to play college basketball, and over 600 of those players have received athletic scholarships. Jon's leadership, acumen and immeasurable commitment to advocate for kids have been key drivers to the sustained viability of these success indicators. Additionally, he has amassed over 500 career AAU victories as a head coach, some of which include:

  • AAU National Championships - Champion Runner Up, 2006

  • AAU National Championships - Tournament Champions, 2010

  • Gym Rat Challenge - Tournament Champions 2011

  • Nike National Invitational, Chicago - Tournament Champions 2011

  • Boo Williams Nike Invitational - Tournament Champions, 2011 & 2012

In conjunction with his role with the Lightning, Jon also serves as Chair of Girls Basketball for the AAU Metropolitan District, the third largest district in the United States. He is actively involved with the planning and governance of AAU at a local and national level.

Professionally, Jon began his career as a sales representative for Snapple. He later transitioned to Sherwin Williams, serving in a variety of sales, human resources and managerial capacities throughout greater metropolitan New York. He and his wife, Samantha reside in Melville, New York. 

Ulysses Garcia

Director & Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball

Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut and once identified as an at-risk youth, Ulysses Garcia believes all kids are at-promise.  As president of The Garcia Group, he helps various organizations identify opportunities for growth through implementation of visionary and relational strategies that unify and empower teams of all types.  Passionate about kids, he also works with students, mentoring and connecting them to a greater potential.

Prior to his current consulting role, Ulysses served as senior consultant for Breakthrough Education Strategies, an innovative provider of school reinvention methodologies.  There he advised district and building leaders on the implementation of school reform strategies, and provided coaching to staff that strengthened organizational performance and improved adult-student relationships.  Before that Ulysses served as a leadership consultant for The Flippen Group, a Texas-based leadership development company that provides models and processes to schools and corporations across the country that improve relational capacity and increase performance.  While in that role, he guided hundreds of schools to more effective classrooms and improved learning environments, and provided companies including UTC – Power and Fuel Cells, Hamilton Sundstrand, and White Hat Management with tools and support that improved individual and team performances and enhanced organizational culture.

Ulysses received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Hartford, and has since been inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame, in honor of his many accomplishments as a four-year scholarship athlete on the Men's Basketball Team.

  • Regarded as one of the most successful and decorated men's basketball players in University of Hartford history
  • Sixth all-time in career scoring for the Hawks with 1,485 points
  • Fifth all-time with 580 field goals made in his career
  • Ninth all-time in career free-throw percentage hitting 77 percent of his free-throws in his four seasons
  • Seventh all-time in his career assists with 297 in his career
  • Named Rookie of the Year in the conference in the 1982-83 season
  • Served as a tri-captain during his senior season
  • Named team Most Valuable Player in three of his four seasons
  • Honored with Second-Team All-League selection in 1985-86 as a senior
  • One of only two players in school history to lead his team in scoring in four consecutive seasons.

He  also served as a three-year member of the National Basketball Team of Puerto Rico.

Ulysses takes great joy in transferring his love of athletics to today's youth as a coach for boys and girls of varying ages and abilities.  He has inspired kids to believe and achieve on teams that have competed from a local to a national level in basketball, football and lacrosse, and strongly believes in the many benefits that the athletic setting provides kids as they develop critical life skills that will be necessary for tomorrow's leaders.

Some of his coaching highlights on the hardwood include guiding the transformation of the South Windsor Girls Travel Basketball Program into one of the state's leading contenders, and for years leading highly acclaimed girls AAU teams for the Connecticut Spirit.  As co-director of the widely successful summer basketball skill development program now known as the Connecticut Attack Summer Hoop School, he plays an integral role in the growth of aspiring young basketball players from across the state.

Now serving as director of the Connecticut Attack, and head coach of the Girls Class of 2015 Connecticut Attack AAU team, Ulysses is extending his reach in the basketball community and quickly becoming regarded as one of the leading coaches and valued resources in the East.

Ulysses resides in South Windsor, Connecticut with his wife, Kelly and their three children, Haley, Quentin and Payton.


Head Coaches

Jen Pasion-Blocker

10 ATTACK 5th Grade - Luchs 5th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Chris Curtin

10 ATTACK 5th Grade - Luchs 5th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Ed Battle

12 ATTACK 7th Grade - Battle 7th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Mike Welsh

12 ATTACK 7th Grade - Welsh 7th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Juan Carrasquillo

12 ATTACK 7th Grade - Johnson 7th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Angel Soler

13 ATTACK 8th Grade - Soler 8th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Charlie Fresher

14 ATTACK 9th Grade - Fresher 8th grade

Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball


Ulysses Garcia

16 ATTACK 11th Grade - Garcia (Black) 11th grade

Director & Head Coach Connecticut ATTACK AAU Basketball