Jay and the Early AAU Days
In 1990, Jay was one of the founders of the first boys “Lehigh Valley AAU Basketball Club” that was created from a very successful girls AAU program which started years earlier in Bethlehem. ESYC was the initial home gym for only three teams in the boys Lehigh Valley AAU Basketball Club. Many new AAU clubs throughout the Lehigh Valley were soon started by high school coaches and youth recreation leaders. These AAU clubs provided a tremendous developmental network of opportunities to expose the truly committed basketball players to the highest level of competition — regionally, state-wide and nationally.
Beyond the great competition, AAU teams foster the strong development of close friendships among team athletes from different areas. In the early 1990’s, Jay’s three sons played in four National AAU tournaments and Jay coached on two of the national qualifier teams.
Jay’s Contributions to the Lehigh Valley Sports Community
• Coached and directed East Side Youth Center basketball for 30 years (involved up to 300 boys and girls in grades K-12 annually in separate winter and summer programs)
• Host director of the annual ESYC Holiday Tournament for 32 youth teams during Christmas week
• Long term coach and officer in the Lehigh Valley Knee-High Basketball League — the primary youth feeder league for most local AAU teams.
• Coached youth baseball for 13 years at ESYC
• Assistant boys varsity basketball coach at Dieruff High for 6 years
• Boys basketball team coach for Pennsylvania Keystone State Games for 6 years
• Volunteer at the recognized “Stellar Catch a Rising Star” summer high school tournament since 1996
• Elected into the first Lehigh Valley Recreational Hall of Fame class in 2010
• Coached current ESYC Basketball Director, Marlon Thomas
A Million-Dollar Man for ESYC!
Jay is most proud of leading the major $1.75 million capital improvement project at East Side Youth Center that was completed in 2005, an effort that started three years earlier. ESYC built a second gymnasium, learning center, fitness / community rooms, and upgraded many building safety facilities. Today, Jay still writes all the ESYC grant requests for funding to charitable foundations, major businesses and government agencies.
Jay & Nancy, Team “Radio”
As Allentown natives, Nancy graduated from Allentown Central Catholic and Jay from Dieruff High. Together, they bleed blue & white since Jay graduated from Penn State. The whole family meets regularly for the Penn State football games and the tailgate tradition. Jay retired from a 38-year career at PPL. They are the proud parents of their three boys and their extended families. Nancy and Jay are especially fond of their 7 grandchildren ages 1 to 7 (an 8th arrives in July).
Overall, the Radio’s still enjoy being teachers of both athletic and inter-personal life skills to many youngsters. They are pleased to see many of their former players become mature athletes and students in high school and later, very respectful community citizens as they move on in life.
Jay is deeply proud and humbled to have his name given to the Annual ESYC Elite Basketball Tournament!