Coach Tony’s – Best Kept Secret

When I accidentally found one of the “Best Kept Secrets” hidden here on the East Coast, I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to know more about them, and be around them whenever I had the time. Here is their story:
The Luzerne County Lightning Basketball Program, co-founded by two awesome men, Mr. Jack Robinson and Coach Curtis Lloyd. These men saw an opportunity to fulfill a need in their community and came up with a plan; then “made it happen.”
The Luzerne County Lightning Program is not funded by any state or local grants. The program mostly operates on a small participation fee (to help buy uniforms for each player each year), and donations from the community. The two co-founders have also come up with a few creative fundraising ideas that keeps the program afloat each year. Traveling to play around the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. The Lightning program has won numerous championship titles at various locations within those states. The girls’ teams give the boys’ teams a good run for their money; in regards to whose won more championships titles over the years.
I was blessed to meet the man all the young people & parents affectionately call “Coach Curtis” – a man who has dedicated his life to inspiring our young people; and preparing them to face the real world. Yes, Coach Curtis Lloyd has a amazing coaching resume on the high school level here locally. Setting girls’ varsity high school records for wins in a season, at both high schools where he was the head coac, respectively, Meyers High School (his Alma mater) and Wyoming Valley West High School. Coach Curtis’ proudest, but humbling moments came when he was selected “Coach of the Year” by his coaching peers & local newspapers five times in thirteen years.
Coach Curtis Lloyd has numerous division titles; a district runner up, and a “Elite 8” appearance in the PIAA State Tournament. Coach Curtis gained his 200 career win while coaching the “Lady Spartans” at Wyoming Valley West.
He started a new chapter in his life by becoming the mens’ assistant coach at Luzerne Community College, again passing on his knowledge about the game that he loves; mentoring to the young men there and turning “boys into young men.”..
Running his community youth organization has not always been easy because of the financial responsibilities to keep it going yearly; engaging roughly 760 children each year. Coach Curtis’ strength comes from his wife & daughter, and yes his parents; they all inspire him greatly. A family man first, but the title of husband & father are the titles he is most proud of. Coach Curtis has attended numerous Coaching Clinics over the years; to keep up with the latest strategies – so he can keep his players current in the game. He believes in the idea and concept that all of his older players in his youth program can go to college. Coach Curtis being a college graduate from Misericordia College himself, knows what he is talking about. He grew up in the area of South Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; so he knows the challenges the kids will face in the area without having a quality education.
Coach Curtis believes in making a better Luzerne County; and where better to start but with the youth in the community, that holds the County’s future within their hands. The motto of the Luzerne County Lightning is, “Stability Breeds Success.”
I’ve been around the game of basketball my whole life; and to see & befriend a man like Coach Curtis Lloyd, I feel that my life has been enriched greatly. This program is a gem, and a “true diamond” and what they do for the area is “PRICELESS.”
The Luzerne County Lightning Youth Program is no more a secret. Good luck in all of your future endeavors; because I’m now a “Big Fan” of this great organization.
Coach Tony Branch
Contributing Sports Writer for GLM.
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