​​Naomi Zitt James is a graduate of Bishop’s University in Psychology and Sports studies and a former basketball athlete. Naomi has been a player and has also been a part of the coaching staff for the Champlain Cougars Division I Basketball program. She is currently pursuing her masters at the University of Ottawa studying sports psychology. 

As a former basketball player, Naomi has the experience of a high-level varsity athlete giving her a unique understanding of a broad spectrum of athlete related challenges Naomi is interested in working with various contexts such as: sports, mental health and physical activity. Naomi believes that overall well-being is essential and that these transferable skills are vital, not only for performance specific situations, but life in general. Naomi aspires to help performers reach their potential by implementing mental skills to optimize performance

​KRISTA VAN SLINGERLAND from Waterloo, Ontario, is a five-year veteran of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women’s basketball. After spending three years playing for the Carleton Ravens (Ottawa, ON), Krista finished her career with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, earning OUA 2nd Team All-Star Honors (2014-15), Academic All-Canadian status (2014-15 & 2015-16) and the OUA and CIS Tracy Macleod Award for determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit (2015-16). During her university career Krista’s teams won two OUA silver medals and made three trips to the CIS National tournament. An alumna of the KW-Lightning program, Krista’s teams earned two Provincial gold medals (OBA), and three provincial silvers during her tenure with the club. She grew up playing in the BDP and MDP summer programs and competed in the 2004 Ontario Summer Games.

Active in the community as an advocate for the mental health of athletes, Krista is the co-founder of the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative. Currently, Krista is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa, where her doctoral project will focus on creating a Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport, that promotes mental health and treats mental illness in competitive athletes aged 14 and up.

Head Coach Mario F. Gaetano "I am proud to add Krista Van Slingerland to to our CTA Coaching staff. Krista has an area of expertise that is a very valuable resource to high performance athletes. Her addition to our staff will undoubtedly add a dimension that will help garner success on the courts and in the classroom. We welcome Krista!"



​Krista Van Slingerland

MARIO GAETANO has been the Associate Head Coach with the uOttawa Gee-Gees Women’s Basketball Team since the start of the 2007-08 season until the 2014 season. Currently, he is an assistant with the team due to full-time work commitments. He has helped lead the team to five CIS National Championship Appearances, winning a bronze medal in 2011. He has also helped the team to four OUA Final appearances, winning one OUA gold, three OUA silver, and one OUA bronze medal. Prior to his start with the Gee-Gees, he spent four years as an assistant coach with Carleton University’s women’s basketball team. Gaetano was inducted into the uOttawa Gee-Gees Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in the fall of 2016, in the builders’ category. He is the second longest serving Gee-Gees basketball Coach.

An Ottawa native, Gaetano has been coaching over 25 years, including both the men's and women's senior high school basketball teams at St. Matthew and at St. Peter High Schools. Since 2001, he has won seven NCSSAA city championships and has medaled three times at the OFSAA championships, amassing two silver medals and one bronze. He was awarded the NCSSAA coaching award for the 2008-09 season. He has also coached with the Nepean Blue Devils community basketball program finishing fourth in the Province in 2015-16 season and this year coaches a u17 team playing in the u19 Women’s X-league division.

Gaetano is currently employed by the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), Student Services and Special Education Department, as part of the S.E.L (Social Emotional Learning) team, supporting seventeen schools in the area of Social Emotional Learning and well-being. Gaetano was awarded the prestigious OCSB Director of Education Commendation award in 2009.


​                      Naomi Zitt James


​Mario Gaetano