UPDATE AS OF DECEMBER 13: There have been several rumors that Lightning will no longer be in Suffolk County and that Premier Basketball is offering the best AAU program on Long island. That is absurd and nothing can be further from the truth! We made an intentional move to stimulate growth, enhance the quality of Suffolk Lightning and diversify its  leadership by choosing to no longer be affiliated with SUSA and its personnel. Lightning remains the largest and one of the most highly regarded organizations in the country by AAU National leadership, college coaches and our peers in the travel basketball world. We are excited to have dynamic new area directors who have tremendous experience and ties to the basketball community on Long Island. 

Tom Rossi has been a highly successful youth basketball coach for many years. He is currently one of the coaches at St. Anthony High School in South Huntington as well as being the Director of the HHH Fury basketball program in Dix Hills. A very successful businessman in his own right, Tom loves the game of basketball and working with young players. There are few more successful coaches than him.

Jake Ellis is the current Boys Varsity Coach at St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip. He also is the Athletic Director at the Northsport Sports Facility in Northport. Coach Ellis is one of the bright stars of basketball. He is a former college assistant coach, a program director and a longtime Lightning coach. Highly respected by all he comes in contact with, Coach Ellis has great vision and knowledge of the game of basketball. 

Robby Mauer is one of a kind to all whom know him. He literally is on a basketball court seven days each week working with his many teams. Coach Mauer earns the respect of virtually every player and parent with whom he comes in contact. No one puts in more energy and is more dedicated than him. He generally coaches ten or more teams each season and treats each one as a distinct group and never takes a short cut. It is no accident that Coach Mauer has an unheard of number of teams, all of whom are successful and having fun. 

Skip Gehring is truly someone very special. A military veteran and Navy Seal, he is a tremendously successful business owner who operates multiple textile factories throughout the eastern part of the country. Skip finds time in his incredibly busy work day to coach girls and boys basketball at Greenport High School. He also operates clinics throughput the year on the east end of Long Island as well as in upstate New York where two of his factories are located. Skip brings his basketball expertise, business acumen and tremendous work ethic to the leadership of Lightning. In addition, Skip’s four daughters, all of whom played college basketball and were each captains of their teams, will join Lightning to bring girls basketball to Suffolk County in a huge way!

These moves will offer opportunities to play for Lightning Basketball to even a wider range of players. We now have tremendously dedicated and highly experienced basketball leaders who will expand and energize Lightning more than ever before in Suffolk County. 

Lightning is always growing and improving! We believe we are second to no one and will work every day to prove that.

Jim Fox




Today we announce an important step that we expect will improve the Lightning Basketball brand.  After careful review we are re-organizing our Suffolk Lightning division.


A re-organization of our Suffolk division will allow the organization to improve and expand our services to youth through basketball. We look forward to implementing processes and programs that will make the Lightning brand innovative and are critical to our future goals for improvement and expansion. We are confident that our re-organization will enable us to benefit from the many goals and opportunities for improvement ahead.


We know that many of you have questions. In the coming days, you will receive email communications from Executive Director Jim Fox. Please feel free to contact him with any questions or concerns via email(


There is tremendous energy and optimism at Lightning Basketball, Inc. With our re-organization of the Suffolk division and our incredible leadership, we are certain that our best years are ahead of us.

Thank you to Rob Pavinelli for his eight years of service as the Suffolk Lightning Director.  We wish him the best of luck in the future.


Jim Fox
Executive Director
Lightning Basketball, Inc.
A 501c3 Corporation

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