Pandemic Not Done, Nike Cancels EYBL Season, Peach Jam

Greg Arias

Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League announced on May, 30 that there would be no season or activities for the remainder of 2020. 

The announcement failed to make big headlines, but the cancelation shows that we are not out of the woods in terms of the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Elite Youth Basketball League has given rise to some of the best basketball players in the NBA with Kevin Garnett, and Anthony Davis, among them. 

A statement appeared on the Nike EYBL website announced the decision. 

"As we continue to navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19, we are cancelling the remainder of the 2020 EYBL season.

This was not a decision taken lightly, but the health and safety of our athletes, families, fans and employees is our top priority. We look forward to bringing the EYBL back in 2021.

We understand EYBL has provided a platform for intense competition, showcased some of the sport's greatest talent, and gathered a strong community to celebrate their shared love for the game. To fill the void of play, we are creating an access-only, online portal of game footage for coaches, launching in June.

The 2020 EYBL athletes will always be part of the EYBL family."

The EYBL is a  premier recruiting grounds for college coaches and also gives opportunities for lesser know talents to show their skills against the nation's top high school talents. 

Included in the canceled events is the Peach Jam, perhaps the premier event in the nation to showcase high school basketball players. 

The cancelation is a blow to players and fans, but the move is for the best of players' health as we continue to deal with the pandemic. 

The Peach Jam event, which takes place every year in Augusta, South Carolina, has grown every year since its beginning.

"The very first tournament was in 1996 and called the Peach Basket Classic, but changed to the Nike Peach Jam in 1997. The original tournament began with 24 teams of the best 17U high school basketball players in the world. A very tall, and raw, young athlete named Dirk Nowitzki took the floor in that first tournament," according to an article in the North Augusta Star. "

This cancelation is a reminder that while student-athletes are beginning to return to college campuses, we are still not totally past the pandemic, and many things could always change despite the return to activities of athletes and people around the country. 

 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.

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