The Goal of the Western PA Bruins is to develop the top basketball talent in the Western Pennsylvania region, to help the players achieve success on and off the court, and to help those girls who desire to play basketball at the collegiate level realize their dreams. The Bruins have existed since the mid-1980’s and over the past five years have greatly expanded by merging three great organizations in order to consolidate the best talent (players, coaches and administrators) in the region. These three clubs are the WPA Bruins, the Pittsburgh Power and the Western PA Wildcats.
The WPA Bruins was founded by Dan Kail in the mid-1980’s as a highly competitive AAU Girls Basketball non-profit organization. In 1987, Dan introduced “Ball-Handling Workouts” at St. Mary’s of the Mount School (Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh, PA) as a means to provide young girls an opportunity to hone their basketball skills and work with top local coaches. This tradition continues nearly 30 years later with Dan still leading skills training for 4th through 8th grade girls at Seton-La Salle High School on Saturday afternoons. WPA Bruins teams have won numerous National Championships over the years, establishing itself as a highly respected basketball organization dedicated to educating players with both basketball skills and life skills.
The Pittsburgh Power Basketball Club was formed in 2006 by John Tate and a small group of dedicated volunteers. Under the direction of area coaching legends such as Duquesne’s Montel Staples, Clairton’s Von Pitts, and McKeesport’s Corey Gadson, the Power grew to be a dominant force locally, as well as achieving respect on the national stage with impressive finishes at several top rated national events and the program was highly regarded among scouts and college recruiters. Known for its up-tempo offense and pressure defense, the Power program brought its mantra of “getting better every day!” to the Bruins in 2009.
Since 2005, the Western Pa Wildcats developed one of the strongest girls AAU programs in the Pittsburgh area. It was Lou Waller’s vision to create a learning environment where the best young basketball talent could develop on and off the court.
By 2012 the Wildcats were producing great results at national and showcase tournaments and are now its players are leading forces on WPIAL teams across the region.
The Western PA Bruins of Today
In September 2018, the Western PA Bruins announced mergers with both 5th Street Gym and Metro Basketball, LLC. These partnerships will allow the Bruins organization to provide girls basketball players the highest levels of competition and maximize their recruiting exposure.
The Bruins has teams at every age group that will not only compete on a local and regional level, but nationally against the best competition in the country. The coaching staff is comprised of current and former college coaches and current and former high school coaches. Many Bruins players have succeeded in advancing to play college basketball and we are also very proud that several Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players started their career by playing on AAU WPA Bruins teams.