Player Testimonials

Testimonial from Ed Lavin President of Knights Basketball
Breakaway Basketball provides a positive hands-on learning experience that allows players to develop a passion for hard work, effort and accountability. Coach Greg and his staff work weekly with every player in the Knights Travel Basketball program and the improvement in fundamental skills has made a significant positive difference in overall player development. Breakaway Basketball has been instrumental in helping players improve on the court by gaining confidence in their own skills. Many of the players elect to train with Breakaway Basketball in the off-season because they are motivated by the results that have experienced. Coach Greg and his staff know every player's name and this personalized approach creates an environment where players feel comfortable making mistakes as part of the learning process. Most importantly, Coach Greg's motivational messages provide all the players with important lessons that can be applied off the court.
Sean McGonagill, Brown University, All Ivy League Team
For all the years that I have been playing basketball, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play under Greg. Even though it was only for a year, I got the most out of that one year than I have my entire basketball career. Our AAU team may not have been the biggest or most athletic group of players, but under Greg’s direction, he recognized our strengths and developed us into the smartest and most hard-working team. We were able to challenge and beat the top-ranked teams in the country and by the end of the summer we took 13th in the nation. His hard work and dedication to the game has inspired me and helped me unveil my full potential as a player and a leader on my team. Greg Ktistou is not just a coach, he is a motivating leader and role model.
Larry Motuzis- Hinsdale South- American University
Breakaway basketball did not only teach me what hard work really means, it's also taught me What it takes to play at the next level. Coach Greg taught me how to work hard and helped me realize that I do have a little more inside of me then I really knew. He shows us that we all have a lot more inside of us then we truly realize. Breakaway Basketball has taken my game to a much higher level. Not only has it made me a better basketball player, but it has also made me mentally and physically stronger.
John Cheng - Denison University
Coach Greg and the rest of the staff at Breakaway basketball do a tremendous job at improving the skills of each and every player. Breakaway basketball’s workouts push you to the very best of your ability as they are intense and challenging. You are certain that you become a better player every time you step on the court with Breakaway. Not only does your skill set develop with Breakaway but your mind does too. Through each workout, you gain a stronger understanding of the importance of hard work and dedication. As a result, this mindset begins to translate to other major aspects of life.
Bledar Dervishi, Downers Grove South High School/Lake Forest College
I have known Coach Greg since the beginning of my basketball career and through those years I have experienced many different coaches and trainers. That being said, I can honestly say that my best experience as a player has come with Coach Greg. Coach Greg is extremely knowledgeable about the game and if you've ever seen him coach or train you would know what I'm talking about. Perhaps his best quality as a basketball trainer is his ability to get the best effort (and that's a lot, trust me) out of his players. Coach Greg has a unique ability to relate to his players on a personal level because he's experienced the hard work that's required to become a successful basketball player. He knows the effort and dedication that it takes to become a great player, and as a coach, he demands that same effort and focus from his players. I think that's why so many of his players, myself included, became successful basketball players. We bought into what he said because: 1.) we wanted to become better basketball players 2.) and perhaps more importantly, we believed him. Without a doubt I believe that Coach Greg's experience, knowledge, and dedication towards developing great basketball players makes him one of the best at what he does. I confidently recommend Coach Greg to anyone who wants to develop into a better basketball player.
Mark Bentley, Case Western/ University of Illinois
Coach Greg is simply the best at what he does. I have experienced Greg’s Coaching and mentoring for almost 10 years and he is responsible for so much of my development as a basketball player, and as a person. He has the ability to get the most out of all his players and make them want more out of themselves. His knowledge of basketball is only one aspect of his effectiveness as a trainer and coach. With an unmatched intensity and love for the sport, as well as the personal attention he gives everyone he works with, he just makes his players want to train harder and do what it takes to get better. I owe my experience as a college basketball to him, and truly wouldn’t have accomplished what I have without his help. My appreciation and support for the way he approaches coaching and training has inspired me to be a part of Breakaway Basketball and help him continue to reach more players. I am proud to work alongside Coach Greg and would recommend him to any player, at any level, who wants to excel in the sport of basketball.
Kareem Amedu – Rockhurst University, Division II Scholarship Athlete
Coach Greg is easily the best coach that I’ve ever played for. I never truly knew what potential and ability I had until Greg pushed me to that limit and made me the player that I am today. It doesn’t matter if there’s one person in the gym or 30 people in the gym, everyone that participates will leave the gym tired, but exceptionally better than they came in, and that’s what it’s all about. Playing under Greg during AAU was the greatest time of my life. He brought in a team of smart players that didn’t so much look the part, but he got us to play the part, and we enjoyed a few summers defeating top ranked teams in the nation. If it wasn’t for Greg’s coaching and guidance I don’t think any of us players would have made it to where we are today. Greatest coach/trainer that I’ve ever been around.
Jeff Dirkin - Current Scholarship Player Rollins College – U20 Great Britain National Team
Greg Ktistou is the best coach I have played under. The enthusiasm and attention to detail he brings to individual skills practice, helped me improve immensely. As a team coach, he got the most out of each one of our players. I will never forget our run at AAU nationals as we beat teams "we had no business beating" over and over again. Greg's positive attitude continues to shape my mental approach to the game. Our teams mantra was, "If we have our effort and our focus, we will be successful". I think about this simple concept every time I step on the basketball floor. In my experience playing for Great Britain, Rollins College, and OPRFHS, Greg is the best and Coach I have played under.

Parent Testimonials

Kevin Golden- Parent and Head Coach of the Pleasantdale Wolves
In the past fifteen years the development of youth travel basketball programs and AAU basketball teams has exploded. Unfortunately, for several coaches the concept of teaching hard work, dedication, and learning fundamentals has been lost to making money and putting All-star teams together. Greg is training and coaching young players because he loves the game and wants to pass his knowledge on to the next generation of players. He teaches the fundamentals that your son or daughter will need to succeed in the game of basketball. More importantly, he teaches core values that will assist your child in life. My son enjoys attending Greg's workouts and I have seen the improvement in his basketball skills and his passion for the game. More importantly, my son knows that he has to put in the work to become a better player. As a former player and a youth basketball coach, I do not think you can find a person who has more dedication to the game of basketball than Greg.
Lisa Hanley- Parent
We have had four different children attend Breakaway Basketball training sessions over the last few years. They all love to go and work out with Greg and his staff. It is fun for them, but it is also effective. I can see how much my children have improved as a result of these sessions. I wholeheartedly endorse their training methods and have recommended the training sessions to many of my friends who have children who play competitive basketball.
Tricia Miller- Parent
For the past several years, my daughters have been fortunate to train with Coach Greg and the Breakaway coaches. The experience has been invaluable. Greg conveys to the players what they need to know and do to become a successful player and a strong teammate. His knowledge, passion and positive attitude, has kept my girls going throughout grade school, middle school, high school and AAU seasons.
Greg has a strong understanding of coaching girls as well as boys. His lessons carry off the court and into their lives as they approach other sports and challenges. His optimism and attention to his players keep them coming back for these challenging and focused workouts.
Parent- Scott Daniels
My wife and I can't say enough good things about Greg Ktistou. We feel fortunate to have found him three years ago when we started looking for skills training for our now HS freshman son Sam. From the very first session, Sam was hooked and he still looks forward to every "Ktistou workout" because he sees that the work he's putting in is making him a better player. Greg helped light that fire and taught Sam how to work hard and to push past his comfort level in the safe and super positive environment that Greg provides. "Push for your best!" is something you'll hear often during a workout. Greg is an exceptional teacher and the skills he emphasizes are fundamental to being a good basketball player at any age/level of play. Rarely will you find someone who has Greg's level of practical basketball knowledge and experience who also has the gift of being able to teach relevant skills as effectively as he does. His energy, enthusiasm and obvious love for the game create a great atmosphere for every workout. Greg really connects with each kid and it's easy to see that he takes a genuine interest in their development as people, as well as players. I've been around basketball my whole life (former D1 college player, dad who was a longtime college coach, wife who also played D1 ball) and I can tell you that no one does it better than Greg Ktistou!
Parent- Amy Kramer
"My children have been going to Breakaway workouts with Greg for a little over a year. I can tell you that these workouts are some of the best I have seen in my 35+ years of playing and coaching basketball. Greg is one of the most energetic and knowledgable basketball people I have been around. His work outs are tough...they are not for the casual player. Players will be pushed, work hard, and be very tired when they are done. I have seen my kids' games move to another level after working with Greg and his Breakaway staff. "
Jeff Blust
Greg's own work ethic and commitment to the game come through at every practice; his enthusiasm is contagious. He expects every player to work toward becoming a complete player; shooting, passing, rebounding, defense, transition and communication. During Greg’s workouts he shows the p layers the drills and technics which will allow them to make a significant jump in the quality of their game. Players receive constant feedback not only on their technics but increasing their basketball IQ. At the end of each practice Greg spends time with each player inspiring them to work on their own. He is far more than a coach to my son Peter who has been working with Greg for the past 3 years. Peter now knows what it will take to become a college player and thanks to Greg he has the attitude, drive and work ethic to make his dream a reality. Greg doesn’t coach he connects!
In all my years of being involved with basketball as a player, fan, youth coach, and player's dad I have never seen a better program for individual basketball skill development and conditioning than Coach Greg's. My sons always look forward their next sessions with anticipation.
Tom O'Keefe
Coach Ktistou has worked with my twin sons on their conditioning and basketball skills since they were 9 years old. Now sophomores, they have been able to compete on the HS level because of the work ethic that Greg has helped instill in them, not just in basketball, but in the classroom and in their other sports as well. I have attended many sports camps and clinics as both a parent and youth coach over the years, and Greg's expertise and enthusiasm for teaching the game of basketball and for preparing athletes for the HS level (and beyond) is second to none.
Lou Surprenant
I have coached sports for over 30 years and in all that time I have never seen anybody who could teach the fundamentals of a sport as good as Greg does, especially in a one hour period. The fundamentals that he teaches instill a great confidence in his students that really carries over onto the court during games.
Laura Surprenant
My boys walk out of a one hour workout with Greg dripping with sweat and cannot wait to go back again. Their game has improved dramatically. The most impressive part about his training is that there is nothing demeaning in his style and yet he commands their total attention and respect. He really does care about each and every athlete. He wants all of them to succeed.
Jason and Janice Christensen
Greg has high expectations - he pushes them to do their very best, which is sometimes even more than the players themselves realize they can accomplish. He celebrates with them when they complete goals.
  • Greg communicates to the players that they have to keep their playing in perspective…that hard work and good attitudes will carry over into other aspects of their life. He reminds them to stay focused on family and school and not just their playing.
  • Greg has shown the players through the example of his life to hold on to dreams and to do what it takes to accomplish them.

Coach Testimonials

Tony Lavorato - Maine South Boys Varsity
Coach Ktistou is one of the finest basketball skill developers in the state of Illinois. I have known Greg for over 20 years and send my own children to work with him. His passion, work ethic, and attention to detail allows for efficient and skillful training sessions. Greg has a wonderful message to players of all ages. Both Boys and Girls will benefit from his program.
Coach Mike Reingruber- Riverside Brookfield High School
Greg and Breakaway Basketball have been instrumental in the success of Riverside Brookfield Basketball. Our players from 4th grade all the way through high school and college, enjoy working with Greg and his staff. The coaches at RB, have been able to see their improvement first hand. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to get better at the game of basketball.
Joe Niego, 1987 NBA Houston Rocket Draft Choice, Founder of Chicago LockDown
Greg Ktistou blends a rich history of teaching in the classroom and experience on the basketball court. These unique qualities allows him to impact and improve the skills of players of all ages. He trains our Chicago LockDown players and I highly recommend him.
Mike Nolan, Head Coach, Downers Grove Nomads
I have observed Greg train both teams and individuals and he consistently displays a passion toward helping each and every one of the players he works with achieve their full potential. What makes Greg most unique and special is that he develops within his players not only the proper technique of dribbling, passing and shooting a basketball, but most importantly, valuable life lessons of hard work, accountability and teamwork. Combining these skills into coaching is not easy and rarely done well, but Greg does it naturally. He teaches his players how to succeed on the basketball court as well as succeeding in the most important game, the game of life.
Dan Bartkowiak, Downers Grove Wolfpack Director, Coach, and Parent
I first heard about Greg's training from a parent whose son was a former player of his. After hearing nothing, but good reports, I decided to let my own son participate in some training sessions. Even though I have been around the sport coaching almost 25 years, I was immediately impressed by Greg's passion and knowledge for teaching the game. In a short time I could already see skill set improvement in each player. Using his own personal experience and success, I appreciate how Greg teaches players to hold themselves accountable to train hard and challenge themselves to get better. After seeing the value of his instruction, several of our travel program basketball teams and coaches have now started particpating in team training sessions with Greg. I look forward to more training sessions with him!
Vince Doran – Varsity Basketball Coach
Greg Ktistou is one of the finest basketball coaches I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I highly recommend that any player wanting to develop their basketball skills work with Coach Ktistou. I have seen his work firsthand in terms of developing player's talent. His basketball background and instructional methods is second to no one. Coach K's training sessions are a must for any player that wants to get better.
Mike Burr – Hinsdale Inferno
Greg's approach to teaching hard work, dedication and commitment, through basketball, separates his training from other alternatives. The Breakaway Basketball development approach isn't for the casual athlete, but Greg Ktistou's approach will bring the best out of the player committed to becoming a better basketball player. Greg's system of "accountable" motivation was perfect for my 8th grade girls team, as many continue to train with the Breakaway Team.