Peach Jam Tips-Off today

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) - The 23rd annual Nike Peach Jam commences Wednesday night at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta.

The Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) tournament delivers immense competition along with the best high school basketball players from around the country, including approximately 300 NCAA coaches and scouts.

Top tier players such as Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Vince Carter, and many more received recognition from this basketball tournament as well.

With the expansion of the Riverview Park Activities Center and the addition of two new gyms, this year Nike has included 12 extra teams of the 15 and under year old players amounting the total number of groups contending in this year's competition from 40 to 52. The necessary change will now give tournament participants and attendees more space to play and watch the competition.

However, the Nike Peach Jam is more than just a game of basketball. This year's competition will have a lot more in store for the benefit of its fans. We talked to Rick Meyer, the Parks and Recreation director, about the significant impact of this elite tournament.

"The popularity of this Peach Jam event in the CSRA had gotten to the point where our existing 94,000 square feet was being pushed out the max," Meyer said. "When Kevin Durant walked into the building last year it felt like you were shoulder to shoulder with everybody and the two new gyms will spread this tournament out a little bit more."

The annual four-day competition draws thousands of visitors each year that stay in Augusta's very own hotels, eat at its restaurants and provides a monumental financial boost to the city. The Convention and Visitors Bureau assessed that last year's Peach Jam generated a total revenue of $6-8 million. However, with the expansion of 12 new teams and two new gyms, Rick Meyer said he believes that this year's competition will estimate much more.

"I can really see this [earning] close to ten million this year," Meyer said.

The tournament tips off at 5 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday. For the full schedule, please click here. Tickets are $10 per session or $40 for a tournament pass.

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