At the helm of the Best Level Basketball team is founder J.D. Powell.
Coach Powell, a native of Westminster, South Carolina, earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Clemson University. His story as a basketball player with the Tigers was storybook like as hard work and dedication took him from an unrecruited high school player to a team manager at Clemson and then a scholarship member of the team. During his time with the Tigers from 1998-2000, Clemson appeared in the NIT Championship at Madison Square Garden and he was recognized on the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
He began his career as a college basketball coach at Furman University after one season with the NBA Development League. . Coach Powell’s collegiate coaching career spanned twenty-plus years, including stops at the College of Charleston and the University of Georgia.
With Coach Powell, the College of Charleston experienced enormous success, winning 75 games over a three-year period that included an appearance in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the 2017 NIT Tournament, three players going on to play in the NBA, and 12 college graduates.
In 2021, Coach Powell joined the Georgia Bulldogs as Director of Recruiting and Basketball Operations.
After years spent working with the industry’s top sports psychologists, leadership and team-building experts, and countless others who specialized in developing top athletes and successful leaders, Coach Powell wants to bring that same high level of training and development to Best Level Basketball.
I want to teach our kids quality basketball fundamentals, how to effectively play together on the court and most importantly, how to be a great teammate. Not all of our children will go on to be collegiate athletes, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t teach them and prepare them like one. I hope that families throughout the Athens area will come to find Best Level Basketball for outstanding development and a staff they can trust.J.D. Powell
Coach Lyle Jones, originally from Franklin, North Carolina, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 2015. Jones had an intriguing route to play for the Tar Heels. During his time in Chapel Hill, he worked his way from being cut from the club basketball team his freshmen year to starting on the Junior Varsity team his senior year for Coach Hubert Davis, who would eventually become the head coach for the Tar Heels. It was this experience that propelled Coach Jones’s desire to coach college basketball.
With North Carolina roots, Coach Jones then went on to East Carolina University to earn his master’s degree and begin his college coaching career as a graduate assistant under Coach Jeff Lebo. During his time with the Pirates, Jones assisted the coaching staff in every facet of the basketball program as they achieved 27 wins in 2 seasons in the newly-formed powerful American Athletic Conference.
After graduating in 2017, Coach Jones began coaching at NAIA-member Truett McConnell University as an Assistant Coach, where he was a part of 5 seasons and 72 wins. Under Head Coach Jon Yeh, Jones assisted in every aspect of the program and coached numerous all-conference players. During his final year at TMU, Jones also assisted with the women’s team, earning 18 wins with the program.
After 7 seasons of leading teams and developing athletes at the college level, Coach Jones now joins Coach Powell and Best Level Basketball.
Coach Powell and I have similar visions for how we desire to use basketball as a tool to help young people as players and people. We want to help mold selfless competitors who are enthusiastically looking for ways to improve personally and to serve others on and off the basketball court. I’m excited to join the vision of Best Level Basketball and to provide a quality experience for families in the Athens area who are looking for outstanding teaching and a trustworthy partnership in the development of their children.Lyle Jones
5 Years NCAA Division I Basketball
90 College Games Coached
We are open to all within the age range and limited by the number of
participants in each group to allow for individual focus!