Episode 25

Published on:

17th Dec 2020

Mick & Melissa Kuberka - Leaders of the Buffalo Titans Basketball Program

Mick & Melissa Kuberka are the leaders of the Buffalo Titans Basketball program.

Melissa is currently the head coach at St. John Fisher College. In her three seasons in charge, the Cardinals have won 61 games, posted two 21-win seasons, and celebrated one Empire 8 conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. Melissa was named Empire 8 Coach of the Year after the 2020 season. She began her collegiate coaching career at Hilbert College in 2015 after previously serving as assistant varsity basketball coach at Mount Mercy Academy. In her first season, the Hawks tied the program record for wins at the Division 3 level with 11. The Hawks duplicated that feat in Kuberka's second year, while returning to the AMCC playoffs for the first time in over a decade. 

As a player at Mount Mercy, Kuberka was part of the 2007 Msgr. Martin League Championship team and the 2009 State Championship team. She was a member of the 1st Team All-WNY Team and was named to the All-Msgr. Martin Team three times. Her career continued at SUNY Geneseo where she helped lead the Knights to a 2011 SUNYAC Championship, while being named to the All-Tournament Team. As a senior, she earned the Geneseo Athletic Department’s Leadership and Contribution Award after earning DIII All-American honors, spots on the D3hoops.com All-Tournament team and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Upstate NY team, and was named as the SUNYAC women’s basketball Player of the Year. She finished her career with a school-record 115 blocked shots, ranked 12th on the Knights' scoring list (1,042 points) and is among Geneseo's all-time leaders in rebounding, assists, three-pointers, and steals.

Mick was the top assistant coach at Hilbert College from 2003-2010. Kuberka graduated from Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in Buffalo in 1998 where he was a First Team All-Catholic and Honorable Mention All-Western New York selection for the Tigers.Before entering the college coaching ranks, Kuberka enjoyed a standout four-year career at Lafayette College, a member of the NCAA Division I Patriot League. As a freshman, he was a key contributor as the Leopards claimed the first regular season conference title in school history and advanced to the 1999 NCAA Tournament to take on the University of Miami. Kuberka helped Lafayette to even greater heights as a sophomore as the team put together a school-record 24 wins and once again secured the Patriot League regular season and tournament championships. The Leopards, who had their season chronicled in author John Feinstein's top-selling book The Last Amateurs, advanced to the 2000 NCAA Tournament and faced Temple University at HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo. During his four seasons, the Leopards put together an overall record of 73-45. Kuberka has worked a number of summer basketball camps over the course of his playing and coaching days, including those offered by the U.S. Military Academy, Canisius College, Siena College, King’s College, Hilbert, and the Buffalo Niagara Court Center.




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About the Podcast

Beyond the Ball
“Fueling your Faith and Family through Sport”
Welcome to the “Beyond the Ball” podcast with Coach Eric Klumpp and Coach Justin Gerstung, two basketball coaches here to celebrate the game of basketball, and all sport, with real discussions, with real coaches from all levels, that use their platform to serve others while finding balance off the court in their faith, with their families, and in their communities. Join us in celebrating the way YOU serve, love, and care.

About your hosts

Eric Klumpp

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Eric Klumpp is a high school basketball coach in the Western New York area at Newfane HS. He has coached at the JV level for 9 years and at the varsity level for 9 years. He grew up on a dairy farm in northern Niagara County and has been teaching health and physical education at Newfane HS for the past 17 years. He is co-owner of Tents Unlimited; a party tent rental company that supplies large tents to customers for all occasions. He is an active member of Ridgewood Bible Church community and also has participated in men’s physique bodybuilding competitions.
Some thoughts from Coach Klumpp, “The journey of life is a difficult one, life will give you tests; and through those tests you learn valuable lessons. Through basketball and all sport, we get to learn valuable lessons to be used to serve ourselves and allow us to grow. I am very excited to share my experiences and knowledge in hopes to serve others on the same coaching journey that I have been on”. Through this pod I pray to bring light on important issues that surround the importance of mental, social and physical wellness and how it creates a better environment for us to thrive as a coach and build lasting relationships with those that we serve. One of my favorite verses in scripture is Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Justin Gerstung

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Justin Gerstung is a high school basketball coach in the Western New York area at Akron HS. He has coached at the JV level for four years and at the varsity level for fifteen years. He has been married to his beautiful wife Rochelle since 2003 and has four children, Emma, Benjamin, Abby, and Noelle. Coach G teaches MS Social Studies at Akron MS, helps run the youth basketball program in the community, coaches AAU with the Buffalo Titans, and most importantly to him, is a member of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church vestry. In addition, he runs the Wall of Fame Committee at Akron, coaches youth soccer, and loves the Buffalo Bills. Some thoughts from Coach Gerstung “I believe that basketball is a microcosm for the game of life, those with the best spirit, approach, and perseverance are the ones that find true happiness. The game of basketball, and all sport, have created so many positive experiences in my life that the desire to share is overwhelming. This pod is a way to show gratitude for what I have, while trying to serve others. Taking initiative and being fearless is something I try to model for my kids and students and it is ultimately my goal to serve that helps define my priorities and in turn helps me create balance. I could not do any of this without the support of my wife and kids, family, and friends. Our family words… hungry, humble, fearless embody the approach I try to take everyday and pass on to my kids. I am learning as I grow as a Christ follower and husband, the value of the process and the importance of celebrating others and celebrating their successes! My hope is that this podcast can spread some of the love that I have for this game!” Coach Gerstung hopes that those that listen enjoy all the extra stuff that sport has to offer and encourages feedback and the creation of dialogue.