I must first apologize for not updating this column for over two years. We all have experienced so much.
First and foremost, our prayers go out to anyone who has lost a loved one due to COVID. It was horrid. In addition to the health concerns that impacted all of us, our economy was devastated. We almost lost Island Garden after having been closed for six months. With God’s help, it all turned around and we emerged stronger than ever.
We were able to restructure the finances of Island Garden by taking in new partners while I was still able to maintain majority control. We used those funds to renovate Island Garden by refurbishing the floors, purchasing new scoreboards, painting the entire facility, remodeling the upstairs and so much more.
Then two incredible developments came about. We were able to reach an agreement with Northwell Health Orthopedics to become our naming rights partner. These great people recognize the importance of youth sports and the role Island Garden and Lightning play in that process. This was especially clear during the pandemic when we directly observed how much sports were missed. In addition to signage and presence on everything we do, Northwell Health Orthopedics will provide medical assistance, physical development training and rehabilitation to each and every player and family who walk through the doors at Island Garden. There will be nothing like this in the entire country.
The second incredible blessing that has come our way has been the partnership with the Curry Brand. Lightning Basketball and Island Garden will be the only club basketball operation which Steph Curry will be aligned with. Within the next few days, you will begin to see dozens of pictures and posters of Steph Curry throughout the Island Garden. In the Spring, all Lightning players will be able to purchase special Curry Brand package that will include sneakers, backpack and uniform. We will be the only basketball club in the country with this access to the greatest shooter who ever played basketball. This deal is all thanks to Jim Fox (my son) who was Steph’s college coach and who also remains friends with him to this day.
Watch for more innovations and improvements to everything we do. We are far from being satisfied with our progress.
I want to close by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. My great team and I are so greatly appreciative to each and every player, coach, parent and referee who walks through the doors of Island Garden. Thank you for your support since 1998. With the help of God, we intend to be around for at least another 50 years.
Jim Fox Sr.