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The New York Lightning Semi-Pro Basketball: Keeping the Legacy Alive

Basketball is thriving in The New York Metro region, home to professional basketball teams of the NBA (N.Y. Knicks and Brooklyn Nets), WNBA women's professional basketball (N.Y. Liberty), NBA D-league teams (Westchester Knicks and Long Island Nets), a new women's D-league (Westchester Shooting Stars Basketball League) and semi-pro teams of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and Elite Basketball League (EBL). The region is also rich in college and high school programs, amateur programs such as the A.A.U. and, of course, urban streetball leagues played on such notable venues as Dyckman Park, Orchard Beach, Rucker Park, West 4th Street, and the Neppa Gallery. MetroSports Magazine has brought you coverage of many of these in recent years.

The Justice Sonia Sotomyor Community Center in the Bronx was the site of this most recent game of the Lightning semi-pro basketball team playing in the Elite Basketball League (EBL). The EBL is comprised of teams in New York, Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta and Arkansas. Also calling the NYC area home are teams from the American Basketball Association (ABA) including the N.Y. Court Kingz, Long Island Jaguars, New Jersey Express, Bronx Holy Flames and their development league team the Bronx Holy Storm.

Most recently, the N.Y. Lightning went up against the Bronx Holy Storm in an all New York inter-league rivalry with the EBL's N.Y. Lightning prevailing over the ABA's Bronx Holy Storm by a score of 81-78. That score should give you an good indication about the competitive, fast-paced and high scoring action provided by the accomplished players. Andre Martin, a 6'2" 180 pound shooting guard out of the south Bronx who played his college ball at F.I.T. and Tyrone Mitchell a 6'3" guard out of the powerhouse Mount Vernon H.S. Tigers program by way of SUNY Cobelskill were high scorers for the Lightning pumping in 20 points each. Also contributing to the Lightning's win were Stanley Hamp with 11 points and Jahrod Lide with 10 points. Helping to keep the game close were Isaiah Holman with 17 points and Charles Thomas with 15 points for the Storm.

The New York Lightning with Owner and Coach, Willie Negron at the team's Lehman College practice facility.

The New York Lightning holds a special place in NYC's basketball heirarchy because one of its primary purposes is to honor the legacy of noted NYC streetball photographer, Robert "Surrob" Negron. For anyone familiar with New York City’s street basketball scene and the NBA players these streets have produced, Surrob Negron’s name is legendary. Surrob, who passed away on June 22, 2010 while playing a game of pickup basketball on a NYC court in Manhattan, had become a noted photographer of NYC’s street basketball.Educated at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Surrob was known for creating nearly 1,000 photo collages, including those of Michael Jordan and Carmello Anthony. The young men competing for the New York Lightning are helping Surrob's brother, Lightning Owner and Coach Willie Negron, keep that legacy alive.

If you get the chance, be sure to catch one of the Lightning's games.

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