Nearly 50 years ago, Sportset – better known as Tennis Junction – owner Norman Lee was in the manufacturing business when he noticed something was missing from Great Neck: a place for tennis and sporting goods.
Forty-five years later, Tennis Junction is one of the last fixtures in town with its original owners – Rachel and Norman Lee – and still touting a vast array of sporting goods.
“I was originally manufacturing lady’s tennis apparel and it looked like we needed to have a tennis and sporting goods store here,” Lee said. “We live in town, we live in Great Neck, and we opened the store and we were successful over the years.”
The walls are lined with tennis shoes, rackets and jackets for winter and spring, with color options spanning the rainbow. Among the brands, available at discounted prices, are Spyder, Columbia, and North Face.
Lee said it’s these products and experience that have kept the business going strong.
“We have a good selection of brand name products and we have the knowledge from over these years to be able to direct our customers into the right shoes, the right racquets, the right apparel,” Lee said.
Norman Lee said that thousands and thousands of people have probably come to Tennis Junction over the years
Many people that stop by the store have also been with them “since the beginning,” both Rachel and Norman Lee said.
“We also have people who left town a long time ago who grew up here and are looking for places that were open when they were living here and it seems like we’re the only ones that have remained,” Rachel Lee said. “So they stop in here and say it just feels so good to be in a place we’ve known for so many years.”
Among the recent closings have been Camp & Campus, which operated in Great Neck Plaza for more than 60 years, and Jildor Shoes, which operated at their Great Neck location for just shy of 60 years. Lonny’s Wardrobe of Great Neck, open for nearly 30 years, is meanwhile slated to close on Dec. 31.
Tennis Junction was originally located across the street at 43 Middle Neck Road. They have been in their 48 Middle Neck Road location for about six months.
The store can be reached at (516) 487-1515.