This is the 50th in a series of postings that are updated at least once each month. It is designed to keep you informed about improvements we are making with Island Garden, Lightning and NY Metropolitan AAU.

– In our last article, we announced  that we have reached a partnership agreement with sportsYou to be a large part of just about everything we do. Super League will now carry the title sportsYou Super League. sportsYou is a platform that provides a fantastic way for coaches to communicate with their players  and parents for all matters including schedules, announcements, discussion of plays and so much more. This tremendous service is provided at no cost. During the past two weeks, we have been preparing the Island Garden and our media to reflect this great new partnership. We are now turning now to working with programs and teams to begin using this great new tool. It is the way teams will communicate with their players, parents and our league. We will be contacting all of our Super League teams this week to get this started.

– I had the honor of attending a meeting at the NBA Headquarters hosted by the JR.NBA to discuss and plan the various initiatives that will be pursued by the NBA to improve the skill level, structure and leadership of youth basketball. Speakers included Mark Tatum, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the NBA. Mr. Tatum stated that the NBA could not be more committed to improving youth basketball especially in the area of assisting young players with developing their values and the importance of a strong work ethic through the game of basketball. Other discussions centered around the development of training academies under the direction of the NBA and USA Basketball. We all agreed that a critically important part of what we do is to emphasize the importance of playing the great game of basketball and not so much about scholarships and sneaker companies! Look for us to roll out new JR.NBA programs in the upcoming weeks and months.

– The first JR.NBA program we will be hosting will be the 3 on 3 League for boys and girls ages 9 through 14. This will be a 10 game guarantee (20 minute half court games) that will emphasize the use of fundamental skills by players on the court. We want to see the players utilize the skills and techniques learned in practice and implement them in a half court setting without the coach being present to make most of the calls. League play begins in January. Chance to earn a spot in the JR.NBA Championships to be held in Atlanta at the end of March. This website has full details. During the next two weeks, we will be marketing this offering which is a great addition to Super League. We will then turn to a skills competition also operated by the JR.NBA. Those signs all around Island Garden stand for a new initiative and dedication to improving the skills of all of our players.

– One of the areas we want to improve is our camp program. I believe we have good camps but I am always looking to add more choices and enhance the training. It is very important to me that we constantly improve our training by attracting top coaches and programs. I am very happy to report that we have made significant headway in both of those areas. Starting with our camp on the day after Thanksgiving, we have brought in the highly respected Holy Trinity Coach, Joe Conefry, and his Assistant, John Fishetti. who has over 30 years experience in coaching youth basketball. We know that this one day clinic will be one of the best ever offered at Island Garden.

– Our second major announcement relating to camps is that the New York Knicks will be hosting two weeks of camp this summer at Island Garden. The Knicks will be running four day camps from July 16-19 and August 6-9. We are so happy to have the Knicks return after many years. They have a great reputation for operating outstanding summer training clinics. I am working on even more outstanding offerings for the Summer of 2018.

– Parent education programs designed to enhancing the experience of their children even more beneficial in a number of areas are also an area where my staff and I have been looking at very closely. Watch for significant announcements in this area within the next two weeks.

– I hope that you have noticed the increased number of postings on social media that are both interesting and informative. I will continue to use our resources to have an ever increasing presence on social media.

-Super League is off to a slow start. Teams are not ready to play and even in some cases, slow to register. This will be a point of focus for my staff and I this coming week.

Finally, I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Island Garden, Lightning and AAU family. I wake up every day so grateful that I work with such great people, all of whom come together to do whatever they can to make playing basketball fun and exciting for all of our children.

Jim Fox

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