By David Cordova
In the month of July, during the live period, many prospective players are playing on the AAU circuit in hopes of landing that Division I scholarship. However, there is one stage that can be competed to no other. It is stage where stars shine the brightest & in which coaches expect nothing but wins & perfection. This site, in question, is the Nike Peach Jam.
The Peach Jam, which has been in existence since 1996, has been a breeding ground for plenty of high-level talent. To get there, all of the programs under the Nike umbrella have to qualify for 24 spots through four sessions of the Elite Youth Basketball League, which is in its sixth year of existence.
It is in this very event, where competition is a must. It is like the old adage, “Win or go home.” This week, teams went through four games of pool play to determine playoff seeding for eight teams to make the quarterfinals. The playoff games brought out great intensity from every team involved. The biggest incentive of motivation for these young athletes were the presence of college coaches in attendance. The thought of landing a college scholarship is one of the biggest things on the mind of many teens. Another thought is the chance to finish out the summer as the best program on the circuit that many regard as the best in the country.
In the end, MoKan Elite ended up taking home the gold, outlasting some tough teams along the way, such as the Howard Pulley Panthers, the PSA Cardinals and California Supreme. With players such as Michael Porter, Jr., Trae Young, Carter’Are Gordon and Jared Ridder, they showed that they were the best in the EYBL.
Outstanding Players from EYBL:
Michael Porter, Jr., Nathan Hale High School/MoKan Elite, Class of 2017
Porter displayed a huge offensive arsenal throughout the week with plenty of dunks and three-pointers. Whenever he stepped on the court, you knew you were in for a great highlight-reel performance from the player that many compare to Kevin Durant, due to his long frame and skill set.
Trae Young, Norman North High School/MoKan Elite, Class of 2017
Young may be a small point guard, but his game makes up for that. He is a lethal, dangerous shooter from long range and is very fearless when taking it to the basket.
Quade Green, Neumann-Goretti High School/PSA Cardinals, Class of 2017
Green was one of the best guards in the tournament throughout the entire week, bringing that Philadelphia-style toughness to North Augusta. His playmaking ability mixed with his ability to score efficiently made him one of the best prospects in the EYBL this year.
Wendell Carter, Pace Academy/Team CP3, Class of 2017
Carter was a dominant force in the paint for CP3 and attacked the rim with precision, while also showing plenty of versatility.
Mohamed Bamba, Westtown School/PSA Cardinals, Class of 2017
Bamba, with his very long frame, showcased his usual dominance by owning the paint on both ends of the court and displaying a hook shot that not many big men use nowadays.
Brian Bowen, La Lumiere School/Mean Streets, Class of 2017
Bowen, who is usually known for his athletic displays above the rim, is a player that is great with his floaters and is adept at making jumpers.
DeAndre Ayton, Hillcrest Prepatory School/California Supreme, Class of 2017
Ayton, who is regarded as the No. 1 player in his class, definitely lived up to his billing as he put up his usual dominating performance on both ends of the court in the low post. A very aggressive shot-blocker and also a dominant force in the paint.
Gary Trent, Jr., Apple Valley High School/Howard Pulley Panthers, Class of 2017
Trent was nothing short of spectacular during the Peach Jam as he carried Pulley with his high-volume scoring. Every game out, he looked to take over the game as much as possible.
Chaundee Brown, First Academy/Nike South Beach, Class of 2017
Brown was a tough and versatile player on the low-block, but a player who also moves well off the ball. Also a deadly shooter from long range.
Hamidou Diallo, Putnam Science Academy/NY Rens, Class of 2017
Diallo put on his usual highlight-reel dunking display, but also showed a nice touch from the outside.
Jordan Tucker, Archbishop Stepinac High School/NY Rens, Class of 2017
Tucker put on a hot shooting display during the tournament and also found his way into the lane to draw some good three-point plays throughout. A player with a lot of finesse.
Marvin Bagley, Sierra Canyon High School/Phoenix Phamily, Class of 2018
Bagley showed why he was the No. 1 player in his class, with his versatility, his shot-blocking ability and his ability to be a powerhouse in the paint.
Brandon Randolph, Westtown School/PSA Cardinals, Class of 2017
Randolph was a player that could shoot the lights out from deep, but also get into the lane and absorb physical contact while taking it to the hoop.
Tyger Campbell, La Lumiere School/Spiece Indy Heat, Class of 2019
One of the youngest guards in the EYBL, Campbell was also the most mature. He ran the point very efficiently, while also being a three-point threat from beyond the arc. The best part is that he will continue to get better.
John Petty, Johnson High School/Team Penny, Class of 2017
Petty was a guard that had plenty of athleticism that could also shoot the ball from the outside. Had plenty of versatility around the wing.
P.J. Washington, Findlay Prep School/Team Penny, Class of 2017
Washington is a forward that can bang in the paint, but can also step out and shoot from long distance. Shows plenty of finesse at the four-spot.
Jermaine Samuels, Jr., Rivers School/Expressions Elite, Class of 2017
samuels is a small forward with plenty of athletic ability who definitely has a passion for the game.
Tremont Waters, South Kent School/Expressions Elite, Class of 2017
Waters is a shifty point guard that can give you an assists, but also has a yo-yo for a handle. Makes great moves to the basket.
Underrated Gems from the EYBL:
Brandon Williams, Crespi Carmelite High School/California Supreme, Class of 2018
Williams was a guard that made plenty of great highlight-reel plays, but also showed a great shooters touch.
Jordan Schakel, Bishop Montgomery High School/California Supreme, Class of 2018
Schakel was a dangerous shooter from the outside that could break down a team’s defense when left open. A player that can get a double-digit deficit cut down in a matter of seconds.
Ignas Brazdeikis, Orangeville Prep/CIA Bounce, Class of 2018
Brazdeikis is a forward that can move off the ball, get rebounds and get to the basket. Is listed as a small forward, but is so versatile that he can be an undersized power forward.
Lavar Batts, Jr., Greensboro Day School/Team CP3, Class of 2017
Batts is a dynamic scorer that can shoot from deep, but can also get to the lane efficiently. and is very athletic. Has great passing ability as well.
Devontae Shuler, Oak Hill Academy/Team CP3, Class of 2017
Shuler was one of the biggest parts of the CP3 offense as he sped his way to the basket every time. A very speedy guard that is also very athletic.
Nick Honor, Lake Highland Prep/E1T1, Class of 2018
Honor was one of the hardest working guards this summer. He always willed his way to the lane and was automatic from long range.
Tyler Polley, Sagemont School/E1T1, Class of 2017
Polley is a player with a long wingspan that could do everything on the court. He blocked shots, can hit the three and also attack the lane and showcase his athleticism.
Evan Gilyard, Simeon High School/Mean Streets, Class of 2017
Gilyard is one of those tough guards that attack the basket very efficiently. Very fearless and quick. Always looks for the open man for assists.
Isaiah Livers, Kalamazoo Central High School/Mean Streets, Class of 2017
Livers is a forward that can bang in the paint, but can also shoot jumpers from the outside. Also is a consistent shot blocker.
Carter’Are Gordon, Webster Groves High School/MoKan Elite, Class of 2018
Gordon is a forward that is a nightmare in the paint for opposing teams. Has a game similar to that of Chris Webber. Is a powerhouse on the low block on defense. Always finds away to assault the rim.
Jared Ridder, Kickapoo High School/MoKan Elite, Class of 2017
Ridder is a wing player that is deadly from the outside. A forward that can punish a team when left open.
Bryan Trimble, Sunrise Christian Academy/MoKan Elite, Class of 2017
When in the lane, Trimble is prone to terrorizing the rim and knocking down shots from 15-20 feet. A dominant two-guard.
Zack Dawson, South Miami High School/Nike South Beach, Class of 2017
Dawson is a guard that is a lights-out shooter from deep that can also attack the basket and get teammates involved.
Johanns Walker, St. Joseph’s High School/Nike South Beach, Class of 2017
Walker is a quick guard that can break down defenses with his crossover, but can also shoot from the outside. He also makes hustle plays and helps out with rebounds on the low block.
Jordan Nwora, Vermont Academy/NY Rens, Class of 2017
Nwora is a three-man with size that is a deadly shooter from three-point range, but also is known for throwing down dunks in the open lane. Nwora is also a good rebounder.
Remy Martin, Sierra Canyon High School/Phoenix Phamily, Class of 2017
Martin is a speedy guard that can run the floor in transition, can knock down shots from long range and also hustles for the ball. His quickness always leads to fast-break points for the offense.
Hasahn French, Commonwealth Academy/PSA Cardinals, Class of 2017
French is an undersized power forward that has plenty of strength. He always bullies his way into the paint and can get blocks, but is also known for throwing down ferocious dunks.
Justin Roberts, Pike High School/Spiece Indy Heat, Class of 2017
Roberts is a guard that is a dangerous shooter from behind the arc that can also get to the hole and attack defenses. Is also very quick and fearless.
Daron Russell, Imhotep Charter High School/Team Final, Class of 2017
Russell brings that textbook Philadelphia toughness to the court, with the ability to shoot from long range and get to the basket efficiently. His speed also allows him to get easy baskets and also to get steals.
Alex Lomax, Memphis East High School/Team Penny, Class of 2017
Lomax is a point guard that can shoot and also run the floor very well and also looks to set up teammates for baskets.
Jose Alvarado, Christ the King High School/NY Rens, Class of 2017
Alvarado is a pass-first point guard that plays tremendous defense on opposing guards & can take it to the hole efficiently. Also is a potent shooter from three-point range.