The primary purpose of the fund is to Level the Playing Field by providing African American youth in Butte County, opportunities through scholarship grants, education, experience, and mentorship to inspire future leaders.
Chico Tar Heels Family Scholarship Fund one-pager:
Marlon Gambol was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He relocated to Chico to attend Chico State and graduated with a degree in Social work in 1998. While at Chico state, he founded the Chico Tarheels Basketball Family.
Since 1997 he has had the opportunity to coach and mentor several outstanding young men and women, on and off the court. He takes pride is having lasting relationships with his former players, many which he considers family now. He spends much of his free time watching his former players compete at the collegiate and professional levels. Marlon works as a Medical Social Worker for a home health care agency. He resides in Chico with his daughter Aiiyana Jaylin Gambol.
Brad Nielsen was born and raised in Chico and proudly played for the Chico Tar Heels AAU Organization (including the inaugural team in 1997) under coach, mentor, and friend, Marlon Gambol.
Brad graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in 2002 and went on to earn his B.A. in Economics from UC San Diego (2006) and M.B.A. (w/ Honors) from Saint Mary’s College (2015).
Brad has spent his career in healthcare consulting and technology, focused running revenue integrity engagements for some of the nation’s top health systems and hospitals (including Enloe Medical Center) and has held numerous leadership positions at both his employer (Cloudmed), in the community (Big Brothers Big Sisters), and in his field (Healthcare Financial Management Association).
He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Meryl, and two children, Connor and Hannah.
Zach Whiting was born and raised in Chico, Calif., and played for the Chico Tarheels AAU organization under Coach/Director and best friend Marlon Gambol. A 2002 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, Whiting was a sectional MVP and all-league basketball player.
Whiting graduated from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2007. A communications major, Whiting was a standout point guard for the Division II Silverswords. As a senior earned second-team All-America honors. Whiting was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given annually to the nation's top point guard, and was also named the 2006-07 Pacific West Conference Player of the Year.
After graduating from Chaminade, Whiting went on to play professionally in Germany in the Bundesliga First Division for three years from 2007-10.
He currently resides in Henderson, NV with his wife, Ashley, and their son, ZJ.