After a successful inaugural season in 2010, the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League is set to return for another promising campaign. Our friends at Nike have filled us in:
Beaverton, Oregon (March 10, 2011) – Every game counts. Every possession is critical.
When the second annual NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) launches on April 8th in Hampton, Virginia, 40 elite travel teams featuring the nation’s stars in the game of basketball will begin their march toward this year’s coveted EYBL title. These select 17-and-under teams span all corners of the continent – including 27 states and Canada – and will compete against each other during three regular season sessions across the country, culminating with the top 24 teams qualifying for the EYBL Finals at the NIKE Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC from July 12-15, 2011.
“The EYBL continues to make a major impact as hundreds of student-athletes will once again compete each weekend against the best travel teams in the country,” said Merl Code, NIKE’s Elite Youth Basketball Director. “NIKE is committed to enhancing this platform, by promoting organized competition, structured rules and a format that makes every match-up exciting.”
Yet before the regular season even begins, a pre-season qualifier will be held from March 25-27 at The Fieldhouse in Indianapolis where two teams will have the opportunity to outlast the competition for the final two regular season spots in the EYBL. Any 17U teams interested in receiving an invitation to participate in the qualifier can register to apply for on the NIKE Elite Youth web site.
The Boo Williams Sportsplex will host the first regular season session in Hampton, VA from April 8-10. The final two regular season sessions will be held at FieldhouseUSA in Dallas, TX from April 30-May 1 and at the new Hangar Athletic Xchange in Torrance, CA over Memorial Day Weekend from May 28-30.
This year’s EYBL teams include defending champion Team Takeover (DC) as well as (in alphabetical order) Alabama Challenge (AL), Albany City Rocks (NY), All-Ohio Red (OH), Arkansas Wings (AR), Athletes First (OK), BABC (MA), Baltimore Elite (MD), Boo Williams (VA), Cal Supreme (CA), Charlotte Royals (NC), CIA Bounce (CAN), CP3 (NC), Each One Teach One (FL), Georgia Stars (GA), Houston Hoops (TX), Howard Pulley (MN), ICP (OR), Jackson Tigers (MS), King James (OH), Louisiana Select (LA), Mac Irvin Fire (IL), Mean Streets (IL), Metro Hawks (NY), Playaz Basketball Club (NJ), New York Gauchos (NY), Oakland Soldiers (CA), Playground Elite (WI), Seattle Rotary (WA), Southern Kings (GA), Spiece (IN), St. Louis Eagles (MO), Team Final (PA), Team Florida (FL), Team Texas (TX), Tennessee Travelers (TN), The Family (MI) and YOMCA (TN). The two EYBL qualifying teams will round out the 40-team field.
Additionally, NIKE will produce a series of events over the spring and summer months designed to teach, develop and challenge the nation’s most talented players in a continued effort to help elevate the game of basketball:
NIKE Elite 100
The first skill development event of the summer will focus on the nation’s best underclassmen in St. Louis from June 9-12, known as the NIKE Elite 100, formerly the NIKE Hoop Jamboree. Featuring many of the best instructors and elite high school coaches in the country, this event helps build a foundation of the knowledge of the game for years to come. The goal for the NIKE Elite 100 is to give the best players the opportunity to develop their skills and to grow their game to heights never imagined.
Skills Academies featuring Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudemire and LeBron James
At the end of June, the elite high school players throughout the country are selected to attend a positional Skills Academy with Utah’s Deron Williams (point guards), Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (wings) and New York’s Amar’e Stoudemire (forwards/centers) held separately over June 23-28 in Chicago, IL, followed by a culminating academy for all players with reigning two-time MVP LeBron James at the University of Akron from July 5-8. The LeBron James Skills Academy will be open to college coaches from July 7-8.
NIKE Global Challenge
For the fifth consecutive year the NIKE Global Challenge will culminate the NIKE summer series. The Global Challenge highlights the top 20 players from the United States and divides them into two teams. Six International teams, including the Champion of the Euroleague Junior Tournament, are selected from around the world to compete in this three-day single elimination tournament. Played in front of dozens of NBA scouts and members of the media from around the world, the Global Challenge has become one of the most competitive events at the prep level as players represent their countries against the best teams in the world.