Individual & Group Lesson

The following Heart of Illinois Coaches are available for Individual & Group Lesson.

Please note Group Lessons are groups of 3-4 players.

Contact Riley at or 309-645-4204 if interested in setting up individual or group lessons


Jason Holmes

Graduated as the 5th all-time leading scorer in New Castle (Indiana) history with 1,157 points.  Was three-year starter, leading teams to three sectional championships and regional title his senior year.  Averaged 21.3 ppg as senior, hitting 50% FG (177-353), 48% 3FG (77-160) and 85.7% FT (102-119).  1993 all-semi-state honors, 2x 1st team all-regional, 3x 1st team all-sectional, 2x 1st team all-North Central Conference and won the 3-point challenge at the IN-KY All-Star game.  In 2018 named as a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team.  Set school’s single-game scoring record of 45 points in 1st game of his freshman year at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville en route to school records of 1,949 career points, 222 career 3FG made and 419 career FT made.  2x all-GLVC, he was inducted into the SIUE Athletic HOF in 2012 and named a Legend of the Ohio Valley Conference in 2015.  Making a career in education and coaching, he was an assistant at SIUE from 2000-2003, head coach at Dunlap (IL) H.S. from 2003-2006 and since 2006 has served as Principal at Dunlap Valley Middle School.  Married with three children, he resides in Edwards, Illinois.

Coach Holmes can do training / lessons for 3rd-12th Boys & Girls & Current College Players

Ryan Julius


Ryan played basketball at Naperville Central High School from 1999-2003. He also played for the Golf Team at Naperville Central, and was the number one golfer his senior season. His accomplishments include multiple tournament wins, including Medalist of the Bremen Sectional and 5th place team finish at the Illinois State Finals. Ryan went on to Bradley University and played on the golf team his freshman and sophomore year. After graduating from Bradley University, Ryan started coaching with the Peoria High Boy’s basketball program in various roles from 2014-2018 including Freshman Head Coach and Varsity Assistant. Ryan has coached 13U, 15U and 16U boys teams in our program. His 15U (2017) and 16U (2018) teams won Championships including NY2LA Silver Division & Shaun Livingston Tournament. Ryan is currently the Assistant Golf coach at Peoria High and coaches our Heart of Illinois 14U Red Girls team.

Coach Ryan can do training / lessons for 6th-12th Boys & Girls

Conatct Ryan at or 630-881-5995

Riley Gardner


Started coaching at Peoria Girls Sports League (PGSL) in-house and travel teams from 2000-2008. Also was manager into student-assistant coach at Illinois Central College from 2002-2008 seasons. In that time ICC won 2 National Titles, Runner-up at Nationals, and 3rd Place finish at Nationals. Has coached at the high school level at Woodruff High School, Metamora High School and Peoria High School. Started Heart of Illinois Program in 2009 based in the Peoria area. Over the past 9 years has coached teams that have won championships at Nike Nationals, AAU State, AAU Nationals (2 times), and USJN. Over the years have worked several college camps including DePaul, Bradley, and Illinois Central College. Helped numerous players earn scholarships to play at all levels including Division I, II, III, NAIA and Junior College levels.

Coach Riley can do training / lessons for 3rd-12th Girls