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St. John's University - Women's Basketball
St. John's University - Women's Basketball

JOE TARTAMELLA BASKETBALL CAMPS  |  Coaching Staff

Tasha Pointer  |  Assistant Coach

One of the most promising young assistant coaches in all of women's college basketball, Tasha Pointer has signed on to join Joe Tartamella's staff at St. John's.

"I walk into a great and exciting opportunity with St. John's, to support Coach Joe Tartamella's vision for the Red Storm family," said Pointer. "His successes nationally, and his foundation for much more within the BIG EAST, are extremely appealing. I've always respected the St. John's program from afar, and now I get to appreciate it from within and be a part of it."

"I am thrilled to welcome Tasha to our program and family," said Tartamella. "Tasha's experience at Rutgers both as a successful player and coach will be a great asset to our program. She is a tremendous recruiter and has helped develop numerous WNBA draft picks in her career."

Pointer, a superstar during her playing days at Rutgers in the late 1990's and early 2000's, has emerged as a force on the bench as well. An assistant coach under hall of famer C. Vivian Stringer for the last eight seasons in Piscataway, Pointer proved instrumental in helping Rutgers land three top-five recruiting classes (2008, 2011 and 2012) during her tenure at her alma mater.

Pointer's recruiting acumen helped yield immediate results for the Scarlet Knights, as Rutgers reached the postseason in seven of her eight years on the staff, including six trips to the NCAA Tournament and a WNIT title. In addition, the Scarlet Knights finished with a winning record in all eight seasons under Pointer's direction.

The pinnacle of Rutgers' success under Pointer came during her first year on staff, when the Scarlet Knights reached the Elite Eight of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The following year in 2008-09, Rutgers once again advanced out of the first weekend of play and reached the Sweet 16.

In 2013-14, Pointer helped Rutgers claim its first-ever postseason title, as the Scarlet Knights took home the WNIT crown.

This past season, Pointer helped mentor Rutgers to a 23-10 record during its first year in the Big Ten, advancing to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut. The Scarlet Knights defeated Seton Hall in the opening round of the tournament, 79-66.

A fourth-round pick by the Portland Fire in the 2001 WNBA Draft, Pointer mentored eight WNBA draft picks as an assistant coach at her alma mater.

Before returning to Rutgers, Pointer served one season as an assistant at Xavier (2006-07) and two years on staff at Columbia (2004-06). In Cincinnati, Pointer helped lead the Musketeers to a 26-9 record, tying for the second most wins in school history and helping the program win its third Atlantic 10 title.

A crafty guard out of Chicago, Pointer arrived on the Rutgers campus in 1997 and quickly emerged as one of the most gifted players in the history of the storied program.

A two-time selection to the NCAA All-Tournament Team, Pointer led the Scarlet Knights to their first-ever Final Four appearance as a junior captain in 2000, capping off a season that saw her earn Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America honors. A four-time all-conference honoree, Pointer was twice named to the All-BIG EAST First Team ('99, '01) and twice found a spot on the All-BIG EAST Second Team ('98, '00). She also took home BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors in the Spring of 1998.

Named to the BIG EAST 25th Anniversary Team in 2003, Pointer is the Scarlet Knights' all-time leader (men's or women's) in both assists (839) and steals (292). In addition, she scored 1,456 points during her four years, good enough for 11th on the school's all-time list.

As a senior, Pointer became the first player in Rutgers basketball history (men's or women's) to record a triple-double, a feat that she would go on to accomplish four times that season.

Pointer is married to Kwabena Yamoah and they are the proud parents of daughter, Nariah.

 

Jonath Nicholas  |  Assistant Coach

Jonath Nicholas made his return to the St. John's women's basketball bench in June 2012, hired by Coach Joe Tartamella right after he took over the reins of the program. Nicholas, who spent four seasons at Providence prior to returning to St. John's, brings nearly a decade of BIG EAST experience to the Red Storm sidelines. At St. John's, his responsibilities include recruiting, player development, opponent scouting in addition to any other duties assigned.

In his first term with St. John's, 2004-08, Nicholas helped guide the Red Storm to some of its most successful seasons under the direction of former head coach Kim Barnes Arico, including St. John's first NCAA Tournament in nearly 20 years during the 2005-06 season. The Red Storm qualified for the BIG EAST Conference Tournament during all four of Nicholas' seasons, earned two WNIT invitations (2005, 2008) and had two 20-win seasons.

During 2005-06, Nicholas helped the Red Storm finish with a 22-8 overall record and saw the team advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 78-68 win over California in State College, Pa. The 2006 Red Storm was bounced from the tournament by the eventual national champion, Maryland.

In his four-year tenure, Nicholas was responsible for recruiting, scouting and player development, as well as assisting the staff with game preparation and game coaching. Nicholas was largely responsible for the recruitment of some of St. John's women's basketball's greatest names, including Da'Shena Stevens, Sky Lindsay and Monique McLean. Stevens, who graduated in May 2012, finished her career as the most-decorated Red Storm student-athlete in program history, starting as the 2009 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and ending as the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year and BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award honoree. In between she earned WBCA All-Region accolades twice, All-BIG EAST postseason awards three times and was a Naismith Candidate for three-straight seasons. Lindsay helped change the face of Red Storm women's basketball, as she was an instant starter and set the St. John's record for career games (132). McLean, another All-BIG EAST honoree, was a key contributor to the Red Storm's run in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, finishing her career with her name etched in eight of St. John's top 10 offensive categories.

After his first stint at St. John's, Nicholas spent four years at Providence College, first as an assistant coach before being elevated to associate head coach in 2010. With the Friars, he was responsible for game strategy preparation, recruiting, opponent scouting, coaching clinics, scheduling and budget organization. He also served as an ambassador of the Friars' program with speaking engagements and as a regular guest on the Friars radio show. At Providence, Nicholas helped bring in a top 20 recruiting class in 2010, which included Alicia Cropper, rated No. 32 by ESPN Hoop Gurlz, Lauren Okafor, rated No. 85 by All Star Girls' Report and an eventual BIG EAST All-Freshman honoree, Tia Wright, who led the BIG EAST in double-doubles in 2011, Miranda Tate, rated No. 45 by All Star Girls' Report and Rachel Barnes, a WBCA Junior College All-American.

Before making his mark in the BIG EAST, Nicholas spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where he was responsible for guard development, recruiting and video coordination. Nicholas was responsible for signing former UAB stand-out Carmen Guzman, a four-year starter for the Blazers who went on to earn Conference USA Player of the Year honors and was a finalist for the KODAK/WBCA All-America team. Nicholas also recruited Crystal McFadden, another All-Conference USA selection.

Nicholas also served as Associate Head Coach at Southwestern Community College in San Diego, Calif. from 1988-99. While at SCC, he helped develop 10 Junior College All-Americans and 16 student-athletes who went on to play NCAA Division I basketball.

Nicholas also enjoyed a stellar playing career at UAB from 1980-82 under Hall of Famer Gene Bartow. As a junior, he helped his team advance to the NCAA Sweet 16, the first-ever NCAA appearance by the Blazers. The following season, the Blazers posted a 25-6 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. He remains among the top-10 at UAB in free throw percentage and led the Sun Belt Conference in free throw percentage while in Birmingham.

Prior to UAB, he played two seasons at Mesa Community College in San Diego, where he set single-season and single-game scoring records. Nicholas was voted a Junior College All-American and was also named the best "Freshman Performer" by Street & Smith's.

Nicholas completed his bachelor's degree in physical education from Trinity University in 1997. Nicholas and his wife, Roz Ervin, have two sons, Branden and Courtney.

 

Da'Shena Stevens  |  Assistant Coach

One of the greatest women's basketball players to ever take the floor at Carnesecca Arena, Da'Shena Stevens is coming home to St. John's. Three years removed from a stellar career that saw her finish sixth on the school's all-time scoring list, Stevens has accepted a position on Joe Tartamella's coaching staff.

"It's with great pleasure that we welcome back a member of our family in Da'Shena," said Tartamella. "She left here as the most decorated player in program history and nobody could speak better to our program than someone who was an integral part of the history and the legacy that we've built over the last 10 years. We are all excited to welcome her back to the St. John's family."

Stevens, who graduated in 2012, scored 1,515 points during her collegiate career in red and white, the sixth-highest total in program history. The Stamford, Conn., native also pulled down 815 rebounds during her playing days, one of only three student athletes to grab more than 800 boards during a career.

"I am very excited to return to my alma mater in support of a program that I grew within and strongly believe in," said Stevens. "Coach Tartamella is one of the hardest working coaches I know and I am honored to be a part of his coaching staff."

Stevens received numerous accolades during her time at St. John's, highlighted by the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year Award during her senior campaign in 2011-12. She was also a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award that season. For her successes on the court, Stevens was named to the All-BIG East Second Team, the All-Met First Team and the WBCA Regional All-America Team.

"I am delighted to welcome back one of our all-time scoring and rebounding leaders, but more importantly to welcome back and outstanding person who epitomizes the term student--athlete," said Associate Vice President for Athletics and Senior Women's Administrator Kathleen Meehan.

After sitting out the first 10 games of her senior season while rehabbing a knee injury, Stevens returned to average 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Red Storm. She captained St. John's to its most successful run in the NCAA Tournament that year, tallying double figures in all three tournament games as the Red Storm reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.

As a junior, Stevens averaged 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game to find spots on the All-BIG EAST Second Team and the All-Met First Team, in addition to earning a place on the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team. Stevens is the only player in St. John's history to garner Academic All-District accolades. In the NCAA Tournament that season, Stevens grabbed 10 rebounds to help lead the Red Storm over Texas Tech before recording her 21st double-digit scoring performance of the season in the second round against Stanford.

Stevens' best season came as a sophomore in 2009-10, when she led the squad with 14.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. For her efforts, she was named Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America--the only player in program history to receive the honor-- and a WBCA Regional All-American. She also found a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team and took home MBWA All-Met Player of the Year accolades. In addition to her personal accomplishments, Stevens helped lead the Red Storm to a 25-7 record and the school's first of five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Following her rookie campaign in 2008-09, Stevens became the first player at St. John's in 26 years to earn BIG EAST Freshman of the Year honors after being the only unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. She also garnered what would be the first of four-straight All-Met First Team selections.

Stevens played one year of professional basketball in Switzerland following her graduation from St. John's with a degree in accounting.

Prior to St. John's, Stevens spent the past year working at Wagner College as the athletic department's Director of Business and Finance, where she oversaw all business aspects of the school's 20 athletic programs.

Before Wagner, she spent a year as an assurance associate at McGladrey, LLP, working with the firm's engagement team on financial services, financial institutions and commercial clients.

 

Veronica Mullen  |  Director of Operations

Veronica Mullen is in her eighth year as the director of basketball operations for the St. John's women's basketball team. Her duties include overseeing the budget, managing team travel, coordinating player housing, overseeing the team's community service initiatives, acting as a liaison with academic services, organizing camps and clinics, and directing game-day setup.

With St. John's, Mullen has yet to miss a trip to the postseason, including five NCAA Tournaments and the program's first-ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2012.

Prior to her stint at Caldwell, Mullen spent one season as the junior varsity/assistant varsity coach for Northern Valley Demarest High.

A former player under Kim Barnes Arico at Adelphi University, Mullen was a two-year starter at guard for the Panthers from 2000-02. She was named the team's most valuable player as a junior after averaging 13.8 points per game. Mullen then helped the Panthers win their first New York Collegiate Athletic Conference title and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament during her senior year. She also was a member of the volleyball team at Adelphi. Before transferring to Adelphi in 2000, Mullen was a two-year starter at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

In 2014, Mullen's Adelphi 2001-02 squad was honored with the Team Legacy Award at the school's Hall of Fame Induction.  In 2015, Mullen once again found herself recognized by an alma mater, getting inducted in the the Ridgefield Park Jr./Sr. High School Hall of Fame.

A native of Ridgefield Park, N.J., Mullen earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Adelphi in 2003 and a master's degree in health sciences from New Jersey City University in 2007. In May of 2013 Mullen completed a second master's degree in administration and supervision at St. John's University.

 

Matt Bernstein  |  Assistant Director of Operations

Matt Bernstein, a double alumnus of the University, returned to the St. John's basketball family in October of 2015, taking on a role as the assistant director of basketball operations.

"I am very excited to welcome Matt back to the St. John's Basketball family," said Head Coach Joe Tartamella. "His passion for the program and dedication to the University are apparent to anyone that meets him and I am certain that he will do great things for us. His expertise in video operations will also be critical in terms of player development."

Bernstein began his career with St. John's basketball as an undergraduate, serving as a student manager for Head Coach Norm Roberts. In the 2008-09 school year, Bernstein was promoted to the position of head student manager, overseeing a staff of 12 and taking on several important administrative responsibilities for the team.

"I am very excited for the opportunity to join the St. John's Women's Basketball staff as a assistant director of basketball operations," said Bernstein. "Coach Tartamella has given me a great opportunity to come back to St. John's Basketball. I am prepared to work hard to help build upon the great accomplishments this program has already achieved and contribute to its tradition of winning and developing young women on and off the court."

Following his graduation from St. John's with a B.S. in sports management in May of 2009, Bernstein stayed on with the men's basketball squad, becoming a graduate assistant for the next two seasons. During that time, Bernstein took on even greater administrative duties and also performed many video coordination responsibilities. In the middle of his two-year tenure as a graduate assistant, Bernstein was integral in facilitating the transition to a new coaching staff for the 2010-11 season, a campaign that saw the Red Storm make its first NCAA Tournament in nearly a decade. Bernstein graduated with a masters in sports management, focusing in coaching and leadership, the following January.

Beginning in October of 2012, Bernstein began working on campus at the St. John’s Freshman Center, serving as an assistant to the director of the department. In this role, Bernstein provided developmental advising to first year students and acted as a liaison between students and academic support services, faculty and residential life.

 

Shanise Bultron  |  Graduate Assistant

Shanise Bultron, a standout for the Hartford Hawks from 2011-15, joined the St. John’s women’s basketball staff as a graduate assistant in the summer of 2015.

A native of Watertown, Mass., Bultron made appearances in 118 career games for the Hawks in her four-year tenure, including 36 starts. Her most successful individual season came as a junior in 2013-14, when Bultron started 16 of the Hawks’ 31 contests, averaging 5.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.

As a team, the Hawks recorded a pair of winning seasons with Bultron on the roster, as the squad registered a 19-13 mark and made an appearance in the WNIT during her freshman campaign. The following season, Hartford went 21-12 and advanced to the finals of the America East Tournament before clinching yet another WNIT berth.

At Hartford, Bultron learned under the tutelage of head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, one of the most recognizable names in women’s basketball. The 1996 Associated Press National Player of the Year and Wade Trophy Winner, played five years in the WNBA after setting UConn records for career assists and steals.

A communication major, Bultron was twice named to America East Academic Honor Roll and found a spot on the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2013-14.