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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.

Caitlin McMullan

Caitlin McMullan is an also an Assistant Coach at her alma mater Wildwood Catholic Academy.  She scored 1,099 career points, led the Cape Atlantic League in scoring in her Junior year and helped her team win conference championships during her junior and senior seasons. Caitlin is currently a senior at Stockton University majoring in Political Science with a minor in Historical Studies.

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.

Carol "Budy" Barnoski
Budy Blum.jpeg
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.

Ashley Cornwall

Ashley (Durham) Cornwall, a Millville, New Jersey native played four seasons at Sacred Heart High School where she played for Coach Steve DiPatri.  During her time at Sacred Heart, she scored 2,201 points in her high school career, leaving as the school’s all-time leading scorer.  She averaged 26 points per game as a junior when she was named all-State Third Team.  Ashley made the second team all-south jersey her junior year and was elected to the first team all-south jersey during her senior season.

Not only was she successful at the high school level, but Ashley excelled in her career at the NCAA Division I level at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where she was the 20th member of the school’s 1,000 point club, as well as holding the best career free throw percentage (83.7) by any basketball player, men’s or women’s, in school history, as well as being fourth all time in career free throws with 319.  Ashley was also named to the First-Team all-MAAC her senior year, and the first to be named with that honor for the school since 2009.

Upon graduating, Ashley was an assistant coach at Cumberland County College, under head coach James Boney (currently at Saint Peter's University.)  In 2017 she took over as head coach for the Dukes.

In 2021 Ashley started the Durham Elevation Program, with a focus on skills, development, and positive motivation. See more HERE

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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