The Swoosh makes it return to the Augusta metro area on Saturday.
Twelve teams, including the local Georgia/Carolina All-Stars, will participate in play-in games for the third annual Nike Peach Jam Invitational Tournament beginning at 9 a.m. at North Augusta's Riverview Park on Saturday.
The tournament begins on Monday.
The play-in games on Saturday will be held at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Six of the 12 teams, the top two teams from each pool, will advance to the regular tournament to round out the 24-team field that begins on Monday. Eighteen teams received automatic invitations, including the Chicago-based Illinois Warriors, the defending Peach Jam champions.
If there is a tie, a tiebreaker would be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. Otherwise, Sunday will be a open day until the tournament begins on Monday. Beginning on Saturday, admission is free throughout the week.
"How can it (Nike Peach Jam) be much better than last year?," said Rick Meyer, the Superintendent of North Augusta Parks and Recreation. "But I think it will be because more people outside of the area are familiar with the tournament."
Games on Monday and Tuesday will be held at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The afternoon session will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. with games featuring the six teams that didn't make the regular tournament field. The night session will feature games at 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, the morning session will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. At 1 p.m., the consolation bracket's semifinal games will be held. At 3 p.m., the quarterfinals of the tournament will be held.
The consolation championship game will be held at 5:30 p.m. and the semifinals will be held at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. These three games will feature college length courts in the big gym in 1A and 1B in the Riverview Park facility.
The Peach Jam championship game will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday in gym 1A/1B.
Many of the players that will be participating next week are at Nike's All-American camp in Indianapolis this week.
Some of the country's elite seniors who will be at the Peach Jam include Marvin Stone, a 6-foot-10 1/2 center who will play with the Alabama Lasers; Damien Wilkens, a 6-foot-5 guard and the son of Orlando guard Gerald Wilkins who will play with the Georgia Stars; Kareem Rush, the younger brother of UCLA-signee Jarod Rush who, like his brother last year will play for the Kansas City-based CMH 76ers. Stone was rated the No. 1 rising senior in the country by Hoop Scoop before the summer began.
Two of the country's top juniors are Darius Miles, a 6-foot-9 do-everything player who will play with the Illinois Warriors; and Omar Cook, a point guard for the New York City Riverside Hawks.
Three of the country's top rising sophomores will be here in Atlanta's Rashard Carruth, who will play with Georgia Elite; Tyson Chandler, a 6-foot-10 center is back to play with the Southern California All-Stars; and Josey's Cornelius Mitchell, who will play with the local squad.
Also, a 7-foot-5 player from China is expected to play in the tournament. Peach Jam Tournament Director Ed Meyers refused to confirm or deny his identity.
"The difference between this year and past years is we have 30 teams and with the play-in games, more games," Meyers said.
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