The Governor has opened the door to return to playing basketball. Club programs will begin to offer tryouts over the next couple of weeks. You have a choice as to where you will play AAU and travel basketball. Not all organizations are the same and some are less than reputable. Since the pandemic has hit, we in Lightning have done everything to protect our players and coaches and we hope that we have earned your trust in the same way we have done for thousands of families over the better part of the past three decades.
We in Lightning will offer tryouts during the week of February 8. We offer various skill level teams at each grade level. Watch for details on this website within the next couple of days.
We believe that Lightning provides a significant edge over others and here is why!
- Lightning can be a lifelong game changer. Not every athlete will play on their high school or college team but Lightning fosters a positive environment where all our players can thrive. There are avenues available for them to form life-long friendships and to be exposed to a network of coaches, former players and parents that can provide opportunities well into their adult lives. We literally have scores of former players who have gone on to great professional careers in law, medicine, finance, engineering, etc. because of relationships developed out of Lightning.
- Lightning has been in existence for 28 years under the same leadership. That same leadership also has top Board positions with the National AAU.
- Lightning has a full time staff that works 7 days and nights each week. Each day we work to improve Lightning in order to sustain our level of excellence. The recent challenges brought on by COVID-19 have been the most trying issue we have encountered in the 28 years of our existence. We have met those challenges without compromising our values. We are emerging stronger than ever.
- Lightning is one of the largest AAU programs in the country. Our teams range from the very elite (looking to play in National Showcase events) to teams that are simply seeking great instruction and competitive local play. Lightning also provides opportunities for our players to advance within our program as their abilities grow.
- Lightning has been recognized by the National AAU as one of the top programs in the country.
- Lightning has been recognized as one of the top 15 youth programs by the JR. NBA and has been named as a member of its National Flagship program.
- Lightning has placed over 700 of our alumni in college basketball programs at all levels.
- Lightning requires that all of its coaches submit to a full background screen by AAU. Many of its coaches also must be certified by USA Basketball.
- Lightning has its own premier facility, the Island Garden. We also utilize multiple other top facilities throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties for practices and games.
- Lightning leadership directly chooses and monitors the selection of coaches which we consider our most important assets.
- Lightning utilizes a mentoring system wherein experienced leaders monitor and develop young coaches in their teaching of skills, management and communication with players and parents.
- Lightning is committed to providing top trainers for all of our players. Our Boys Training program for both players and coaches is headed by Jim Fox who has 18 years experience at the Division l Collège level (13 as an Assistant Coach and 5 as a Head Coach). Jim’s teams have participated in five NCAA Tournaments including one Elite 8 appearance. Every male Lightning player will receive direct instruction from Coach Fox or one of his fellow trainers. Coach Fox will use his experience to assist and guide our players through the recruiting process.
- The girls training program is led by Jon Lawniczak who is the one of the top girls administrators/coaches in the country. His record of success is for the most part second to no one, especially in finding scholarships for talented players. His team of trainers include Dr. Rich Slater, Greg Flynn, Kerry Connolly and Mary Beth Cain, all of whom are highly respected and each possess a long history of success.
- Lightning relies on the latest software applications to maximize efficiency of collection of fees and communication with the members of the teams.
- Lightning has divisions in Nassau (covers New York City), Suffolk and North Shore of Long Island to accommodate players from throughout the area.
- Most importantly, Lightning is committed to our dual vision of operating with integrity as well as being the most organized basketball program in the country. We seek to provide the best experience for our players. We believe this helps put children on the path to becoming great adults. We set out to do this 28 years ago and have no intention of “taking our foot off the gas” anytime soon.