This is the 68th in a series of postings. It is designed to keep you informed about improvements we are making with Island Garden, Lightning and NY Metropolitan AAU.
- We want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season and a Healthy New Year. We greatly appreciate your tremendous support throughout the entire year. Our programs continue to grow and improve. We work hard every day to continually improve and offer a better sports’ setting for everyone that comes into Island Garden. This week we are refinishing our floors and doing some painting to keep Island Garden fresh and attractive for every person that walks through our doors.
- We are so happy to share with our followers that Super League is well on its way to having its largest enrollment ever. We now operate the entire Super League throughout Long Island and do not share with any other operator. As we have said in the past, please be careful not to be fooled by imitators who want you to believe they are Super League. We are the only true operators and have been that was for going on three decades. We have a full time staff who are tremendously dedicated to running the highest quality league by being committed to only the top customer service possible.
- Every Super League game played at Island Garden is live streamed and recorded. Please keep that in mind that you can watch a game from your home or a relative can also view the games from anywhere in the world! Just this past week, we worked with a talented player to provide game film to a college coach during a very serious recruiting decision. We loved helping this terrific young man and his family. Just another example that Island Garden is so much more than a building that hosts leagues and tournaments.
- In January, watch for our new concept of the Super League Top Ten teams. Each week, we will be selecting the teams we feel are the best in relation to their grade and division. We are looking to create some good controversy and feedback. Watch for our first Top Ten next week!
- So much has been going on with AAU. We have been proud to be part of a select group whose task it was to implement improvements for the upcoming season. This has been done and you will see changes that were needed. Nationals and are now Global Championships and we have introduced Regional Championships here in New York in the event that your team does not want to travel to Florida or other locations. District Championships are still the key local events and now carry important incentives for participation. We have also changed the eligibility criteria to participate in AAU Nationals allowing teams from outside the US to participate , reduced the length of the Global Championships to four days, implemented various discount programs, finalized an alliance with Zero Gravity and at least large operator that was previously our competitor , urged for the establishment of a new registration system that makes it much easier to register for events, engaged scouting services for AAU events, reinstated All American selections, create a post-grad/unsigned senior division and establish a ratings system and retain a public relations firm to enhance the image of AAU. We will be publishing additional information in the next couple of weeks. We also have been very busy with creating a new AAU program throughout the country known as the Urban Initiative. Our goal is to bring the benefits and programs to the parts of the country which are under-served and most in need of the power of sports. We have been assisting AAU create leagues in various sports for children who love sports but may not have the opportunities. AAU has been able to create flag football and basketball leagues in Brooklyn in conjunction with NYPD. We are now expanding our operation to Harlem as well as other cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Dallas. Finally, I had the honor of meeting with the NBA and AAU to begin exploring ways on how these two great basketball organizations can work together for the betterment of youth basketball around the world. There are more meeting scheduled for January!
- Lightning’s partnership with 3 Step Sports has already resulted in huge improvements and a great structure for the immediate and long term future. 3 Step has provided us with enormous assistance in operating our organization in a highly efficient and effective manner. The change for the better is already very obvious and will continue to get better. It is so wonderful to be a teammate of such a top notch organization whose professionalism amazes us every day.
- Lightning will be holding our annual tryouts on January 20, 2020 at several locations throughout Long Island. This is the best opportunity for anyone not presently part of our organization to join us. We will do everything we can to avoid turning away even a single person. Our AAU philosophy is “Ball For All, Forever” . We invite everyone to come and join the largest and most successful AAU program in the country.
- As we have announced previously, we are adding top level professional trainers to work with Lightning players. Specifically, Jim Fox, Jr. will be working with both Lightning coaches and players on a regular basis to improve their respective skills. Jim has 18 years of professional experience at the College Division l Level. His resume includes five years as a Head Coach and 13 years as an Assistant Coach. He has been part of teams that were to the NCAA Tournament four times including an Elite 8 appearance in 2008 with Steph Curry and Davidson. In addition to Jim, our training initiatives continue to rely on Crown Basketball and the highly successful Chris Diasparra, whose record speaks for itself. Finally, Joe Nesci will be returning in 2020 to offer his three decades of experience and basketball expertise at NYU to our players. Lightning is deeply committed to making every one of our players a more skilled and team oriented athlete.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and being a supporter of Island Garden, Lightning, NY Metro AAU, JMF Sports Center and our new JMF Sports Consultants.
“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” Jack Canfield