The annual Nike Peach Jam All-Star tournament makes the city of Augusta the college basketball capital of the nation for at least a week. Many of the top players and coaches embark to the tournament with the hopes of impressing college coaches like Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, and John Calipari who all occupy the seats at the Riverview Park and Activities Center.
This year's tournament is the 16th annual event and features many of the nation's top 20 players. The tournament is made up of 24 AAU teams that qualified by playing in other Nike events throughout the country. The Atlanta area is represented well by the storied Georgia Stars AAU team that features big names like Milton High forward/center Tony Parker. There is no lack of star power at the event with players like South Carolina's Brice Johnson and Rakeem Hicks who will both be playing with Chris Paul's CP3 team out of North Carolina.
Georgia coach Mark Fox calls the event an important part of of the summer AAU schedule. It is also important that it is located reasonably close to Athens where Fox can bring his whole coaching staff to the event.
"Just in recruiting, the travel in summer can be a challenge," Fox said. "So when you get a chance to be close to home, that's a bonus."
The tournament began on Tuesday and runs through Friday with the championship game being televised live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. The 17 and under division plays two sessions per day with the first beginning at 9 a.m. The evening session resumes at 6 p.m. The event also hosts a 16 and under division that plays in the afternoons.
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