Plymouth, MA & Houston, TX
Massachusetts author Stacy Padula has teamed up with NBA Coach Brett Gunning on a children’s book series based on the principles of his non-profit “On the Right Path.”
Padula and Gunning are co-authoring the books and will publish them through Padula’s publishing company Briley & Baxter Publications, which will distribute books through Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and Amazon in both print and EBook format. The first book is planned to be released this winter. The first six books are geared towards children ages 3-5, and the next six books are for children ages 6-8.
The mission of Gunning’s non-profit “On the Right Path” (OTRP) is to guide youth basketball players on the right path to achieving their maximum potential through free individual teaching, mentorship and education. OTRP also provides parents and coaches with tools and resources to effectively keep their child or player on the right path. The core principles are guidance, inspiration and creativity and offer 12 basketball skill pillars and 12 life skill pillars. Gunning’s inspiration comes from his 26 years of coaching in college and the NBA.
A veteran author, Padula has published nine successful young adult novels since 2010, and in 2019, she started her publishing company, Briley & Baxter Publications, which donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. Briley & Baxter Publications has the capability to have books distributed and returned and will be able to stock the books in additional stores due to the discount that the company can offer wholesalers.
Padula and Gunning have teamed up with illustrator Maddy Moore, a recent graduate of University of Pennsylvania, to bring the OTRP books to life.
“Over my 26 years in coaching, I’ve been able to see the beginning, middle, and end of many players’ journeys,” said Gunning. “The one common thread with those who make it versus those who don’t is that the ones who are successful have a strong foundation of not only basketball fundamentals but also life skills. This Book Series will be focusing on some of the simple life skills that are valuable not only in basketball, but also in life. I’m excited to be working with Stacy and Maddy to share what I have learned over my career.”
“I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work with Brett on a book series that will help instill values in children and guide them towards success,” said Padula. “Brett has built a tremendous educational organization to help young people, and we share a commitment to the principles of On the Right Path. We are excited to co-author and publish this inspirational and impactful book series.”
“I’m thrilled and humbled to be working with Stacy and Brett to help bring this children’s book to life,” said Moore. “As an artist, it’s incredibly valuable to have a group of highly motivated thinkers and creatives around me, and that is exactly what I’ve found with this project. It’s so important to communicate life skills to young kids, and I know this team will put together a final product that is both poignant and engaging for children and families everywhere.”
About Brett Gunning
Brett Gunning has spent the last 26 years coaching in College and the NBA. He began his career in 1994 as an assistant coach for Jay Wright at Hofstra University. Over the next seven seasons, he was a part of a staff that turned Hofstra into an American East powerhouse, posting a 72-22 (.766) record from 1998-2001. He was very instrumental in the development of the Pride players, as well as assisted with recruiting, scouting and film analysis.
He then went on to spend seven seasons (2001-08) as a member of the coaching staff at Villanova University, again working under the leadership of Head Coach Jay Wright. During his time with the Wildcats, Gunning played a vital role in recruiting and developing a unit that secured four straight NCAA Tournament berths and made three trips to the Sweet 16. He was named Associate Head Coach in 2005 and was recognized following the 2007-08 season as one of the top 25 assistants in the nation by Rivals.com. Gunning’s responsibilities with Villanova included on-court teaching, recruiting and scouting.
Gunning’s NBA career began when he joined the Houston Rockets in 2008 as the team’s director of player development. In that role, he was responsible for improving player performance through on-court, one-on-one skill development and the use of video analysis. He was later named an assistant coach for Rockets prior to the 2011-12 season before leaving to serve in that same role with the Orlando Magic for three seasons from 2012-13 through 2014-15. He then returned to the Rockets as an assistant coach in 2015, and from 2016-2020 he assisted head coach Mike D’Antoni coordinate the Rockets offensive scheme. During the 2017-18 season, the Rockets won a franchise record 65 games, and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
About Stacy Padula
Young Adult author Stacy A. Padula, a native of Pembroke, Massachusetts who resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts has accrued years of experience working with adolescents as a college counselor, mentor, life coach, and youth group leader. In 2019, the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY) named Padula “Top Educational Consultant of the Year” and “Empowered Woman of the Year” for 2020. Padula is the CEO/founder of both South Shore College Consulting & Tutoring and Briley & Baxter Publications, as well as the author of two young adult book series: “Gripped” and “Montgomery Lake High.”
Padula’s first novel, “The Right Person,” was published in 2010. In 2011, “When Darkness Tries to Hide” was published, and it was followed by “The Aftermath” in 2013. In 2014, both “The Battle for Innocence” and “The Forces Within” were released to complete her “Montgomery Lake High” book series. Throughout 2019 and 2020, she released a new series titled “Gripped,” which takes place in the same world as Montgomery Lake High but focuses on different main characters. Multiple books in her Gripped series became #1 New Releases in their genre on Amazon. In 2019, she also wrote her first screenplay, an adaptation of her novel “The Aftermath,” and worked on a pilot script for “Gripped,” which was embraced by Hollywood producers.
About Maddy Moore
Sylvia Madison (Maddy) Moore is a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania who completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology and Fine Arts. Moore grew up in a family of international coaches and has consequently lived and worked in various corners of the world including Singapore, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. She began her career as an artist at fifteen, where she would complete commission-based illustrations for clients around her school commitments. In recent years, Moore has worked full-time as a freelance artist with authors and designers from around the art world to bring their projects into fruition, including but not limited to comic book illustrations, character designs, cards and flyers, logos, and her personal work on the indie webcomic, “The Cloud Maker”. Moore currently resides in Delaware Country, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.