When the official Nike Peach Jam Invitational Tournament begins on Monday, defending tournament champion Illinois Warriors may take the biggest hit.
Three of the Chicago-based teams best players have been selected to play for the United States in the inaugural World Youth Games for 17-and-under players in Moscow, Russia that begins July 11 and runs through July 19.
T.J. Cummings, a 6-foot-8 center; Jerrell Parker, a 6-foot-4 guard; and Darius Miles, a 6-foot-9 do-everything forward were the three players chosen from the Illinois Warriors. Cummings and Parker are rising seniors, while Miles is a rising junior.
The Warriors defeated 1996 Peach Jam champion the New York City Riverside Hawks, 71-69, in last year's Peach Jam championship game.
No other summer league team has more than one player on the squad. The U.S. squad begins play on Saturday against South Africa in the 16-team field.
The World Youth games will also feature 17-and-under championships in women's basketball; fencing; judo; team handball; soccer; and wrestling.
SHOE WARS: Not all of the country's best prep basketball players are at Nike's All-American camp in Indianapolis this week.
Keith Bogans, a 6-foot-5 guard from perennial power Dematha in Hyattsville, Md. and Josey's Cornelius Mitchell were invited to the Adidas ABCD camp in Teaneck, N.J. this week.
Mitchell is expected to play for the local Georgia/Carolina All-Stars in the Peach Jam. Last year, South Aiken star Tony Kitchings attended the Adidas ABCD camp one week and played for the Georgia Stars in the Peach Jam the next week.
NORTH-SOUTH: Former Washington County star Terrence Edwards will play in the hoops game and not the gridiron contest at next week's North-South All-Star games in Athens.
Edwards caught a 70-yard touchdown pass and accumulated more than 100 all-purpose yards in helping Georgia defeat Florida 23-21 in the annual all-star football game between the two states at the Georgia Dome on June 20.
Edwards will be part of an impressive South squad that includes guards Ravii Givens and Robert Hutchinson from Class AAA state champion Albany Westover and forwards Dewayne Foots from Swainsboro and Kevin Paige from Albany Monroe. Foots was a first-team All-Area basketball selection while Edwards was on the second team.
"I plan on winning that game too," said Edwards who helped Washington County to back-to-back 15-0 seasons in capturing consecutive Class AA football state titles. "This is my last basketball game and I want to go out on a good note."
The North team features state Player of the Year and Georgia Tech-signee Tony Akins from Berkmar and Georgia signee D.A. Layne from Marietta Wheeler.
In the girls game, area Player of the Year Sherika Wright and first-team All-Area Kellie Holland will lead the South squad against the North. Wright and Holland helped Josey win its first girls' Class AAA basketball state title in school history this past season.
SNEAK PREVIEW: Reigning Class AAA state champion Josey and perennial Class AAAA state power Hephzibah are battling it out in the girls' race in the Augusta Summer Basketball League. Games are held at Richmond Academy and Langford Middle School.
The two teams are tied for first place in the girls' race with one week left in the summer league season. The two teams have split their first two encounters and the likely regular season, summer league title will be decided at 8 p.m. next Thursday when the two teams meet at Richmond Academy in the final game of the regular season.
Playoff action will be held from July 21-30. Last year, Josey defeated Hephzibah for the summer league title and went on and won the 1997-98 Class AAA state title. The two teams feature the area's top two returning players for the 1998-99 season in Hephzibah rising senior LeCoe Willingham and Josey rising junior Kenya Thompkins.
Other teams participating in the girls' division include Richmond Academy, Glenn Hills I and II, Laney, Aiken and Hancock Central.
The boys' summer race is a tie at the moment between Richmond Academy and Thomson. The other teams participating include Laney I and II, Aquinas, Sandridge and Hancock Central.