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Nike Peach Jam returns amid construction

Posted: July 12, 2017 - 1:39am
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at Riverview Park Activities Center. created on Sunday 7/9/2017 at 11:45:28 pm by Joey Jones modified on Monday 7/10/2017 at 12:59:07 am by Lynn Waalkes Caption 3editforcopy_0710PeachJam_THB011.jpg Workers place a floor graphic on the court for the semifinals and finals during day four of last year’s Nike Peach Jam. The event starts today.

Despite the layers of dirt, rows of construction barrels and taped-off areas around Riverview Park Activities Center lately, it will be business as usual for the premier summer basketball circuit finale.

The Nike Peach Jam returns today through Sunday for the 22nd year at the North Augusta facility. With it comes the top high school basketball talent from the Nike EYBL, and coaches from the biggest college basketball programs in the nation.

The prestigious event serves many functions, including further exposure for the country's best talent and the finals for the summer circuit. Games Wednesday through Saturday lead up to the Sunday finals when the Nike EYBL champions are crowned.

There will be 24 teams in the 17-under division and 16 teams in the 16-under. A play-in game at noon today determines the final spot in the 24-team, 17-under field. Live period for college coaches begins today at 5 p.m.

"Never in a million years did we think we'd host an event like that," said Rick Meyer, director of North Augusta's Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department. "We're told it's the longest-running event Nike has been affiliated with that's kept in the same place. Credit the venue, our professional staff has done a great job in meeting the needs of the folks of Nike, and our community has bought in."

The Nike Peach Jam brings an unmatched level of excitement to Riverview Park each July, but the facility has produced its own buzz lately with the proposed 27,000-square-foot addition of two gymnasiums, new lobby space with a wide corridor, bathrooms, concession stand space and administrative offices. The additions will connect the front of the facility and enclose the current entrance.

Construction began in February and continues through the summer, but Meyer said contractor R.W. Allen is halting work and cleaning up the site for the Nike Peach Jam. He considered the construction site "a challenge" for getting ready for the busy week, but final preparations are going well, and he assured that nothing will change inside for the event.

"We're excited to have more space for year-round activities," Meyer said. "Nike is excited for more space. Popularity for the event is about to outgrow the facility. It's amazing the amount of people that have an interest.

"Despite construction on the outside, the inside is the same."

 

This is what Riverview Park's four-gym complex will look like.

Construction should be finished in about 10 months - probably in December - on the $5 million addition of two gyms. Work was halted for this year's Peach Jam.

When complete, the addition should blend in so well that no one will be able to tell it wasn't all built at the same time, a representative for contractor R.W. Allen LLC told city council members during a meeting last year.

 

What: Nike Peach Jam

WHEN: Today-Sunday

Today: 5-9:30 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday: all day; Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

WHERE: Riverview Park Activities Center, North Augusta

TICKETS: $10 per session, $40 tournament pass

 

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