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2024 AAU District
Baller Bash

The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports.

During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of "Sports for All, Forever," is shared by over 670,000 participants and over 100,000 volunteers.
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We are working very hard with AAU President Jo Mirza to revitalize AAU Basketball on both a national and local level. President Mirza intends to do everything he can to attract thousands of players to national, regional and local AAU events that are the best in the industry. The following are some of the initiatives that we have been pursuing during the past three months:

I am very proud to announce that President Mirza has appointed me as his Special Assistant to help develop in the growth of AAU Boys Basketball throughout the country and world. I will be working with the very talented and experienced staff at the National Office and local leaders to spearhead multiple plans to improve the offerings for our members . I also have had the privilege of working closely with the legendary Boo Williams who is the National Chair for AAU Boys Basketball. 

We have already made a tremendous improvement. The Boys Basketball staff and President Mirza have been successful with the Disney Corporation in having the AAU World Championships return all  Division l and ll to one site during the same time period. Those tremendous events will be held at the Disney World in Orlando during the week of July 4-11. Grades 8-12 will be played July 4-7 and Grades 1-7 will be held July 8-11. This will meet our goal of playing the only true national championship all in one location at basically the same time. Division lll Championships will be played in Hampton, Virginia from June 28-30. 

Another very important step forward that has been accomplished  has been the implementation of the enhanced background screening for coaches and administrators. Unfortunately, it seems that we read terrible stories in the media about children being harmed by deviant individuals who should not be anywhere near children. The AAU, under the leadership of President Mirza, has seen to it that the our organization now has the most comprehensive background screening process of any youth sports organization in the country and probably the world. It is our
most important goal to do everything possible to protect the young people who are entrusted to our care. This is a major step ensuring that we are meeting this obligation. Every coach and administrator must pass the required screening process in order to be a member of AAU.

Our District Championships will continue to be held at the Island Garden as has been done for over 25 years. The same experienced leaders will oversee every game. No shortcuts will ever be taken that would compromise the quality of this very important event. I believe we have earned your trust and respect over the past three decades. We will be announcing the dates next week. 

It is our belief that we must always improve in order to stay competitive. We understand that you can take your team to other tournaments but we strongly believe that none offer as much as AAU does. Beginning in the Spring, we will
incorporate a national ranking system into all AAU licensed events. In addition, we will offer a series of tournaments where teams can not only experience top quality events but also can earn points toward their rankings. Those rankings, in turn, will result in incentives toward discounts of the entry fees for the World Championships. 

Accompanying these rankings will be a tremendous presence in various social media presence in all AAU events held in the New York Metropolitan area. The success of your teams and top players will be made known in many ways on social media. We are also working on other exciting and impressive partnerships. It is hope that we will be able to make that announcement very soon. 

One last point for this first communication is our emphasis on insurance coverage. AAU has the best insurance  coverage in the youth sports industry. This covers both practices and games for both liability and secondary medical. It often seems like no one cares much about insurance until something happens and there is a crisis. I am urging coaches and club administrators to never ignore this responsibility for their players' sake or their own financial protection.

I will be writing you each Monday morning to provide new information that hopefully will be useful in your planning. I ask only that you consider the benefits of AAU before making any decisions about your Spring 2024 schedule. We are working everyday to provide as much as possible to you and your team to have the best possible and safest experience.

Jim Fox
Governor, NY Metropolitan AAU
Boys Basketball Sports Chair, NY Metropolitan AAU
Special Assistant to the President of AAU for Basketball Development 
Member of the National Board of Directors of AAU 
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