This is the 61st 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.
- Super League is heading for its February break. We are so proud of the fact that it is the largest registration in its history. We have expanded to several new facilities while trying every day to maintain its high quality. No doubt we sometimes come up short but we always try to fix what went wrong. There are so many moving parts that errors and inconveniences sometimes occur but we hope everyone realizes that are always trying our best.
- We hope that you are taking advantage of our new roster verification system and the video streaming and recording of all games. This is in addition to our new App and text messaging system. These new offerings represent more improvements to what we offer every player, coach and family affiliated with Super League.
- Lightning Basketball held its tryouts for 9U trough 14U in mid-January. The teams are still being finalized. It is no simple task since we make every attempt to offer placement for virtually every young athlete who came to tryouts. Lightning is about dedicating itself to each and every player’s improvement rather than winning some mythical local or national championship. Our success and incredible brand revolves around the improvement of each and every player who wears the Lightning Gold and Blue.
- We are also very happy to announce that we will be bringing an established and highly successful program to Long Island that will focus on younger players, ages 5 through 8. It will be called Little Lightning Connecticut Future Stars Training Camps. This is a copy written program that offers not only excellent instruction in various sports but also life lessons specifically designed for the younger children. We have spent a great deal of time researching the program over the past eleven weeks and have observed it in action. We started the first session last week at Island Garden. There was some criticism of us merging our Future Hoops program into this new offering. That program was successful for many years but we felt that this new program was more organized, had a better syllabus and included life lessons. Our Director, Andy LoCastro, is tremendously committed to its success and carefully observed the program in other areas as well as studying the curriculum. We believe that this Little Lightning Connecticut Future Stars Program is something very special. Come down on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:00 to either observe or participate.
- We will be introducing a new opportunity to Lightning Boys High School Basketball this Spring. In addition to our regular travel teams that will play six tournaments, we will have an Elite team that will play in the Live College Recruiting Tournaments. That team will be coached by Lightning Hall of Famer Warren Wagner. The other special team will be our All Academic Team that will be coached by Eric Haber. This team will require that the student athlete have a certain GPA and standardizing testing scores. That team will compete in the Zero Gravity All Academic Circuit. There will be separate tryouts for these two teams. They are designed to be in addition to a player’s regular Lightning team.
- We have hired a new social media professional. We hope you are following us on social media and seeing the increased postings.
- We have signed a new contract to continue to have The Rock basketball to be the official ball of Island Garden and Lightning. We are very proud of our long standing partnership with The Rock.
- Planing for the Spring AAU basketball season is well on its way. Spring dates for the District Championships have been set. In addition, we have joined together with Zero Gravity, the fastest growing and largest tournament operator in the country, to host a series of events here on Long Island. We have also agreed to a deal to partner with Premier One Events during the Spring season. Premier One Events is also a fast growing and impressive tournament operator. We want only the best events for our Lightning teams as well as other teams who support what we do at island Garden. We will also be partnering with our close friends at Game 7 Basketball to operate a season kick off tournament during the last weekend of March. Very proud to work together with such terrific basketball people. Finally, NY Metropolitan AAU will be hosting a one day event on April 20 (Holy Saturday and Passover) at Island Garden which will offer teams 10 individual AAU memberships for the entire season for those who participate. This makes for great basketball, a short tournament that will not interfere with the holidays, a low registration fee and memberships (insurance) that you can use for the entire Spring season. There is no better deal out there.
- We continue to improve our sister multi-sport facility known as JMF Sports located on Merrick Avenue in Westbury. This past month, we were honored to have our facility named as the Home of AAU Multi-Sports in the New York Metropolitan Area by the President Roger Goudy of AAU USA. This is a great honor.
- We are also working on other exciting initiatives that we hope to be able to announce very shortly.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and being a supporter of Island Garden, Lightning, NY Metro AAU and our new JMF Sports Center.
Please contact us if you have suggestions as to how we can continue to improve every day. Many of our best ideas have come from coaches and parents.
Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated. Lou Holtz