Nike eyeing re-formatted EYBL events for June, July: sources | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / May 30.
  • Nike eyeing re-formatted EYBL events for June, July: sources

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Nike is eyeing re-formatted Elite Youth Basketball League events for June and July but the situation remains fluid amid the coronavirus pandemic, sources said.

    The Swoosh is considering holding either one or multiple events for all 36 17U EYBL teams in June that would determine seeding for the Peach Jam in July, sources said. The June event(s) could potentially take place at one central location or at multiple regional sites in the East, South, Midwest and West. The June event would not be a qualifier, and would only determine seeding for Peach Jam.

    “The June event would be about making sure the Peach Jam pools are balanced,” one source said.

    All 36 EYBL teams — instead of the usual 24 — would then participate in an extended two-week Peach Jam in July in North Augusta, S.C. Those dates would be July 8-12 and July 15-19.

    The Peach Jam is considered the crown jewel of the summer recruiting period and coaches from virtually every Division 1 school generally attend for at least some portion of the event. In past years it has featured a slew of future NBA lottery picks, including Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Trae Young, Michael Porter Jr., Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle.

    Even if the June event doesn’t happen, Peach Jam could still occur, sources said.

    Scenarios include holding the events without fans, but with college coaches and media. The whole schedule depends upon when the NCAA live periods would run during those months, assuming they run at all. They also would presumably depend on federal and state guidelines about mass gatherings.

    “I hope so,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said by phone. “We have to get the medical wherewithal but I’m hopeful that we’re going to be in a position by then to be able to go out. Obviously, you can watch it remote if you have to but I think everybody is hopeful that the country will open up by July or August. That’s what you have to hope for. It’s possible you could move something into August.”

    The NCAA has the power to make periods live or dead, so ultimately the decision will be made by the NCAA, not Nike.

    “There have to be adjustments made by everybody,” Boeheim said. “We have to be flexible. The NCAA has to be flexible, which is hard for them. But they have to be flexible once we get through this thing and allow us to do some stuff.”

    The proposed new schedule would replace the existing one released in February which had four EYBL sessions running in April and May leading up to Peach Jam.

    The potential events raise several logistical and health issues, the main one being whether it’s safe for players to be in close contact on and off the court during July. Another issue is whether hundreds of college coaches (and media) would feel safe sitting near one another in gyms.

    Of course, it remains possible that none of these events will happen due to the pandemic.

    Boeheim said the summer recruiting period allows coaches to see younger prospects in the Class of 2021, ’22 and ’23 and evaluate them.

    “You’ll find somebody usually in the summer that you like and will start to recruit and turns out to be a good player for you,” Boeheim said.

    Villanova coach Jay Wright said this week that if there is no recruiting period at all this summer, it would impact his team — and presumably others — more for 2021 recruiting.

    “I don’t think this is going to affect us in recruiting with the 2020 class,” he said, “but it’s definitely going to affect us with the ’21 class the way we recruit, not being able to get out in the spring to evaluate, we’re not getting guys on campus in the spring.

    “But if it affects us and hurts us a little bit, so what? Suck it up. There’s a lot more important things going on in our world right now.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.