This is the 43rd in a series of postings that are updated at least twice each month. It is designed to keep you informed about improvements we are making with Island Garden, Lightning and NY Metropolitan AAU.
– We have been dealing with a drop off in AAU membership in New York as well as a significant decrease in teams participating in District Championships. At the same time, Lightning membership has increased and the number of tournaments that we participate in has likewise been up. The issue is the tremendous popularity of Zero Gravity as a tournament operator. We are trying to create an alliance between AAU and Zero Gravity so that both organizations can grow and provide even better service to our players and their families.
– Many Lightning teams are now finished with their Spring season. With only a couple of exceptions, the season was a tremendous success. Many players playing an aggressive schedule of some 25 games; there are so many moving parts. The main reason why this works so well is the incredible coaches we have. They teach, organize and most of all, serve as positive role models for our athletes. In the few problem areas we have had to deal with, the coach had difficulties and the situation quickly deteriorated. These situations are very difficult primarily because the young athletes are not receiving the high-quality experience that we want to provide every player who wears a Lightning uniform. We will never stop pursuing perfection even though we realize we can never reach that goal.
– Island Garden has been running very well. Spring League has progressed through the regular season and playoffs begin for some groups tonight, June 14th. Love the game of basketball because it takes care of itself once they throw up the ball. We have made a significant improvement in scheduling the playoffs so that the younger ages can be finished before the end of school and not interfere with vacation plans. This change was the result of participant feedback last year.
– We have improved our Summer League offering. This summer we will be playing at Next Gen, St. Dominic High School and possibly other locations to serve all parts of Nassau and Queens Counties.
– We are so very proud that this is the 25th Anniversary of Lightning Basketball. We have established the date of October 18 and location; Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury for our anniversary gala. We will be honoring the organization as well as a few selected members of Lightning.
– We are so happy to announce that David Nurse, an NBA Shooting Coach, will be conducting a two-day clinic at Island Garden on August 7th and 8th. The times will be 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM for ages 9-14 and 6:45 to 9:45 PM for ages 15-18. This is a true opportunity to work with a top professional. This past season David worked with 9 NBA players including Jeremy Lin. He also was the shooting coach for UCLA. We are continually making our camp offerings more attractive as well as being tremendous learning opportunities.
– I want to conclude my remarks by again thanking my great staff who work very hard. In the Spring, they are expected to run the largest AAU program in the country, organize tournaments every weekend during April, May and most of June, manage the Spring League which was bigger than ever before, keep the building clean and fully operational, prepare for the summer leagues and camps and finally, constantly work on ideas and initiatives to constantly get better! This is no easy work and it requires dedication and often working well beyond their hours at Island Garden. I am so grateful to have such a committed and talented team.
“The best competition I have is against myself to become better” John Wooden
Jim Fox

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