Donnell “Mookie” Dobbins was a high quality student-athlete at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP,) under former University of Kentucky and Texas AM coach, Billy Gillispie, before transferring to Pikeville College where he earned his Bachelors Degree in Communications in 2007. He then attended Towson University, where he received his Masters Degree in Professional Writing. Being an avid lover and player of the game, he uses his skills and experiences to instill the importance of academic excellence, community commitment, and good sportsmanship to current players. Over the last nine (9) years, he has coached and mentored dozens of young athletes in Baltimore City and surrounding areas. He is a very passionate coach whose motivation is driven by his children and his desire to succeed.
Donnell’s responsibilities as Program Director go beyond recruiting and developing talent. He also mentors the adolescent boys and young men in his program. Because of the level of success within his program, he, according to the Buckeye Prep Report, “has built a reputation as one of the most prolific grassroots basketball coaches in the country.” Under his leadership, Team Thrill has grown into one of the premier youth programs in the country. The program is currently made up of nearly 200 student athletes, and continues to grow each year.
As an AAU coach, Donnell has many notable accomplishments. Among one of the most noteworthy was winning two (2) national championships in 2016. This past season, his c/o 2021 won several tournaments including the Adidas President’s Day Tournament and Elevate Hoops Proving Grounds League. In addition, his 16U team made it to the Under Armour Association (UAA) Elite 8 in its first year of competition. This proved to be a significant accomplishment as the UAA is one of the three major AAU circuits in the country.
The excitement and passion for the game of basketball is the driving force behind his commitment to the Team Thrill program. He strives to be the best, and challenges the participants of his program to do the same.
Serving as the second in command and head coach of the Class of 2019 UAA team, Donald is a valuable asset to the Team Thrill organization. He obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from University of Pikeville, and brings his savvy business and basketball knowledge to our program.
Donald has played basketball all of his life, and has six years of coaching and recruiting experience at a college level. He has coached at the University of Pikeville (2010-2011 and 2014-2017), Pfeiffer (2011-2012), and NC Central (2012-2013). In his coaching tenure, he has several major accomplishments which includes, but is not limited to: winning the 2011 National Championship and making an Elite 8 appearance in both 2014 and 2016 at his alma mater. He has also coached and mentored several All Stars and professional basketball players including Stanton Kidd, Jeremy Ingram, Jamar Briscoe, Trevor Setty, Kenny Manigault, Vance Cooksey, KK Simmons and Macari Brooks.
Donald’s motivation behind working with Team Thrill is his desire to help kids reach their full potential not only as student athletes, but also as well- rounded individuals who can contribute in a positive way to the communities in which they live. He realizes that many inner- city youth simply lack proper guidance. He intends to focus his efforts on making sure each student athlete achieve the goals that they have set for themselves.