CONSTANTLY GETTING BETTER – AN UPDATE ON WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND ISLAND GARDEN, SUPER LEAGUE, LIGHTNING AND NY AAU

This is the 46th 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. I apologize to the few people that actually read this for not posting in a very long time. There has been a great deal going on and I did take two weeks off to travel to Italy which was amazing!
As I announced in July,we are so very proud that we have signed an agreement with Under Armour for that very popular company to become the official outfitter of Lightning and any Island Garden team that wishes to wear UA uniforms and gear. We will be able to obtain UA gear at special discounts. Watch for us to open an online store for purchases in the Fall. This is a tremendous step forward for Lightning and Island Garden. We have been organizing the how we will go about the selection of Lightning uniforms as well as the distribution of the UA merchandise. We have also finalized arrangements that will allow us to pass on savings to all Super League teams who are interested in purchasing uniforms through us.
– We are very happy to announce that we have been granted the rights by the NBA and JR. NBA to be the sole operator of the 2018 JR. NBA 3v3 League that will begin play in January, 2018. This will be an 8 game league followed by playoffs. Each participant will receive a JR. NBA jersey. The championship for this league will be held in either Atlanta or Orlando and the Jr. NBA will be funding at least part of the trip tot he championships. The league will be for middle school players. We will be announcing complete details next week. This will be the first of many initiatives that Lightning and Island Garden will be partnering with the JR. NBA on in the upcoming year.
– 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 and its amazing accomplishments. Tickets will go on sale next week.
– Last month, I had the honor of meeting with the President of AAU, Roger Goudy, and Greg Kristof, the CEO of Zero Gravity Basketball as well as Joe Crawford, Director of AAU Basketball. We worked on reaching an agreement which will have both organizations work closely together in 2018 to enhance the offerings to the thousands of young players who are affiliated with both of these great organizations.We have been working on this project for the past two years. Look for an announcement hopefully very soon from AAU and Zero Gravity.
– This summer a great deal of time and effort was spent on developing excellent working relationships with other top basketball organizations in our area. We are so happy to announce that we will be working closely with Game 7 and Northsport in the coming year. In regard to Game 7, we will be sharing an alliance where we operate a co-branded tournament in April as well as supporting each other’s many program and training initiatives. In regard to Northsport, they will be returning to Lightning under the name Lightning Northsport this November. This will be separate from Lightning Suffolk which remains under the leadership of Rob Pavinelli. Our goal in both alliances is to work together to provide the best possible programs for as many players as possible.
– I am very happy to announce that I have started a new business venture by the name of JMF Sports Management Consultants. This company is made up of a group of experts from all areas of basketball and other sports. My goal is to assist teams, organizations and facilities in the management of their operations. JMF Sports Consultants also will provide training, run camps, insurance, uniforms and basically anything related to basketball. Please let me know if you have any ideas how we can work with organizations to improve their operation in any way. I have compiled the experience and expertise to make many different ventures a success.
– There has been a change in regard to our relationship with the NXT Gen facility in Westbury. We are no longer managing their business with them. We will continue to rent their facility for leagues and events but we are in no way responsible for the operation of their programs or business. We will advise immediately if this should change.
– JMF Sports Management Consultants has entered into an agreement to run some of its programs at the Cove Sports Center in Glen Cove. This is an excellent one court facility where we hope to run leagues, clinics and camps in the spring, summer and fall months. We see it as an opportunity to work with outstanding people toward of goal of bringing our basketball resources to as many people as possible.
– Lightning will also be expanding to the North Shore of Nassau County by appointing Jason Helguero as the Director of this North Shore Lightning program. Jason will form multiple Lightning teams that will practice and play most of their games at North Shore locations such as Woodbury, Oyster Bay and Hicksville. Lightning families will have the choice of playing with main Lightning or with this smaller segment that will be more location sensitive for practices and games, when possible.
– Finally, we are focusing on improving Island Garden. We have refinished the floors and have added new decals. We are in the process of replacing the chairs and tables in the lobby area. In addition, we are waiting for new panels to be delivered that will be installed in the men’s room. The lobby will be painted next week and we purchased a new floor cleaning machine for the courts. The baskets will also be refurbished one court at a time so that we do not lose the use of a court. We are exploring the financial feasibility of replacing all of the lights throughout the facility (we have already replaced the arena lights which have made a tremendous difference) as well as an upgrade to the air conditioning system. We recognize that Island Garden is approaching its 20th birthday and it is showing its age. We would love to do more but ours is not a business that provides sufficient operating funds to do everything that is needed all at the same time. We will continue to do what is most needed in terms of renovations while doing our best to keep things clean and well maintained. If you have suggestions, please do not hesitate to send me an email at jimfox@islandgarden.com.
“Keep Moving Forward”. 
Jim Fox

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