NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – The Nike EYBL Peach Jam is set to begin July 10 at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta.
What used to be a small scale basketball tournament for high schoolers, Peach Jam is now a tournament whose players attract college coaches from top NCAA division one programs and star NBA players to check out some rising phenoms in the game.
“I think one of the biggest changes for us this year is they increased the 15 and under tournament to 16 teams, which is four more teams. It doesn’t sound like much but it puts 56 total teams here at Riverview Park,” said North Augusta Department of Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services Director Rick Meyer.
Players from all over the world on many different basketball teams from around the United States are going to be in North Augusta for the next several days. While that means excitement for ballplayers, it’s just as exciting for new businesses in town like the Hilton Crown Plaza.
Their Director of Sales and Marketing, David Sulak said, “It fills the hotel up. It makes it busy. It’s great for the community to have everyone coming into the area and we kind of get to see what we’re going to become as we become more mature as a hotel.”
It’s not just the hotels staying busy. It’s all hands on deck for some city employees.
“We feed all 56 of those teams lunch and dinner so we basically had to clear out our basement and turn it into a dining hall. You know, when the folks at First Baptist Church and TrueNorth volunteer and come down here, they’re not only serving the food they serve them some love. You know, give them some attention,” said Meyer.
Not only is Peach Jam known for showcasing a young players skill, but it also shows how popular the tournament is becoming.
“The NBA players. It used to just be college coaches came and in the last five years the NBA players started showing up and that kind of takes the tournament to a whole another level. Young people in the area, you know, they start to get on their smartphones. Start tweeting, ‘guess who just walked into the door,’ because we never know which NBA players are going to show up so the crowds have gotten larger.”
Tickets for Peach Jam are $15 each day. The tournament lasts from July 10 until July 14. Games start July 10 at 2:00 p.m. You can buy tickets at the door at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta (100 Riverview Park Dr, North Augusta, SC 29841).
Continue to stick with WJBF NewsChannel 6 for 2019 Peach Jam developments.