Sunday, July 13, 2008
It's a great opportunity for any high school basketball player to play among the nation's best at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta. For the Peach Jam Select team though, it's even more special. That's because the team is comprised of players from this area and after a team from Houston pulled out, the area team stepped right in, immediately making them the hometown team to root for.
"It's good, it's fun, but it's also scary," says Demarius Jefferson, a junior at North Augusta High School.
That's one way to describe playing in your first ever Peach Jam, especially when your team is filled with players from the area. Another word may be nervous.
"I was kind of nervous at the start but once you get the jitters out, it's okay," says Cameron Alston, a junior at North Augusta High School. "It almost felt like a college game. I've never played in front of a crowd that big before."
And don't forget about the college coaches and recruiters there as well, watching your every move. Whether it is your first or second year playing in the Peach Jam, it can be a bit overwhelming.
"The Peach Jam is very exciting," said Heath Houston, a junior from North Hills High School in Marietta, GA. "This is my second time playing in it and it is more intense this year."
For the boys from North Augutsa, their debut didn't go exacttly as planned. They lost their first game to a team from Virginia but this team isn't worried.
"A lot of times our fan base thinks it's all about winning and losing but it's about an opportunity," sais head coach Chon Williams. "ORE ABOUT PLAYING...NOW THE JITTERS ARE GONE AND WE HOPE TO GET BACK TO PLAYING GOOD BASKETBALL
And whether they win or lose the rest of the tournament, just getting the chance to play is a victory for these guys.
"Funny thing is as a kid, I remember sweeping the floors at the Peach Jam ," said Jefferson. "I used to dream about playing it in all the time and know that I am, it's a big step."