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The TAR HEELS Basketball Club is a South Jersey based AAU basketball program.  We are professionals who provide various services throughout the sport of basketball.  We host tournaments, camps, clinics and ready our athletes for the highest levels of competition.

Steve DiPatri
Director of Basketball Operations
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Steve DiPatri is the Director of Basketball Operations for the Tar Heels Basketball Club.  He is also the head coach of the Wildwood Catholic Lady Crusaders and former head coach of Sacred Heart High School.  Coach DiPatri has amassed many awards in his twenty-four years as a head coach including NJSIAA State Championships in 2003 & 2005.   

He is also a member of the NJSCA Coaches Hall of Fame.  Coach DiPatri earned his 500th win this past season and his teams have won 79% of their games over his career.  Steve's teams are known for their attention to detail, unselfish style of play and positive team culture.  Under his tutelage over 30 young women have gone on to play college basketball across the country.

Click Here for DiPatri Teams Alumni

Katie Caruso
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Katie Caruso has been an Assistant Coach at alma mater Wildwood Catholic Academy for seventeen years.  She was the Press of Atlantic City Player of the Year as a high school senior and was a member of a South Jersey Championship and two CAL championship teams. 


She finished her career with 1,126 points and for the past twenty-two years, Katie has been employed by the State of New Jersey Judiciary in the Criminal Case Management Division.

Carol "Budy" Barnoski
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Budy Barnoski.jpeg

Carol Blum-Barnoski a.k.a. “Budy”
Budy grew up in Cape May County and played basketball at Wildwood Catholic High School, where she scored 1,659 points, was named First Team – All South Jersey, and remains the second leading female scorer in school history. While in high school, she was also a member of two Garden State Games’ teams and played for the Philadelphia Bells AAU Team. Budy’s success at Wildwood Catholic earned her a full scholarship to play Division I basketball at Drexel University, where she enjoyed a successful career as a Lady Dragon. After her playing career
ended, Wildwood Catholic recognized all her athletic achievements by retiring her Jersey – Number “45” – making her only the second female athlete in school history to receive that honor.

Both during and following her playing career, Budy has volunteered her time coaching youth girls’ basketball teams (3rd thru 8th grade). She currently coaches the Avalon Recreation 3rd & 4th grade team with her husband, which offers her the opportunity to work with and develop young female athletes.

Chris Israel

Chris Israel is a coach within the Tar Heels Basketball Club. He has helped coach within our organization from 2016- to Present. Chris is currently a Correctional Police Officer within the New Jersey Department of Corrections where he is finishing up his 25 year career this June.

Chris began his basketball coaching career at Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School as the girls 3rd/4th grade coach in 2015. He also coached at Cape Trinity Catholic School from 2016-2018. He coached there within the Pee Wee program from 2016-2017. In 2017 he took over as the head coach of the girls JV program until 2018. In his first year as head coach he led his team to the schools first ever Girls JV Island Tournament Championship.

Walt was the founder of the original Tri-State Tar Heels AAU Basketball Club.  He was the AAU Middle Atlantic Director of Girls Basketball for 5 years and created the KAC Tar Heels Scoop Taylor Summer Slam.  Sadly, Walt passed away in March, 2021 leaving behind a legacy for today's Tar Heels Basketball Club to follow.

In Memory of
Walt Deegan
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