Many players are already known – with online video and rankings next to their names on recruiting sites. But area basketball fans can soon view – in person – the prep stars behind the numbers and statistics.
Some of the nation’s best high school basketball players hit the court at North Augusta’s Riverview Park Activities Center at the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam, which begin Wednesday and run through Sunday.
Among the talented players expected to participate is Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 recruit for the 2014 class who plays for the CIA Bounce 17 & Under team.
“I don’t like to compare anybody, but you look at LeBron, Kevin Durant … there are very few of those type of guys. It’s one thing to see it, but it’s another to coach it, to see it first-hand at practices,” CIA Bounce coach Mike George said about Wiggins. “It’s his moves, the timely buckets, the ‘Oh crap did he just do that?’ ”
The 17 & Under portion of the competition doesn’t get started until Thursday, but local basketball fans will get to see some area favorites the first day.
Aquinas’ Ahmed Hill and Michael Scott play for the Southern Stampede, who open with E1T1 Elite at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“At Aquinas, it’s all me and him with the scoring and the rebounding,” Scott said. “On this team, anybody can be leading.”
The 16 & Under championship game will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday. The 17 & Under title game will follow at 3.
A year ago, BABC (Mass.) defeated Memphis YOMCA in the 17 & U final, though the Memphis YOMCA 16 & U team did win its championship.
The winners might be different this year, but there are constants. As usual, players are here to win and get opportunities to shine in front of the best coaches in the country.
“You do your best to get everyone in the game,” George said. “But at the end of the day, they’ll get exposure through the summer. At the Peach Jam, you’re there to win.”