Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW)-- #SHOWANDPROVE is the theme for the week at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta.
Coaches and players from all over the country are at Riverview Park for a week full of competition. The tournament, along with the women's tournament in a couple of weeks, is expected to bring in over 4.5 million dollars to the CSRA. City officials like Rick Meyer, Director of Parks, Recreation & Leisure Services, says Peach Jam makes a name for the city.
"It brings for a small residential community it brings a name recognition," said Meyer.
Todd Glover, City Administrator, believes that North Augusta becomes the center of college basketball.
"The eyes of the college basketball world are on North Augusta this week," said Glover.
The #SHOWANDPROVE theme could also apply to the city of North Augusta. The Peach Jam is the city's secret weapon according to Glover.
"It's been kind of a hidden gem in the area, but now we're starting to see the growth come. We're getting growth at exit five, we're getting growth in our central business district in our downtown."
The growth surrounding the Peach Jam will only continue. After ESPN asked Riverview Park to improve the lighting in the gym, the gyms were all upgraded with new, brighter lights. Meyer hopes that the new lights will shine on what is to come at the complex.
"We're planning an addition of two new gymnasiums and our plan if everything goes accordingly to be ready for Nike Peach Jam 2017," said Meyer.
The Nike Peach Jam has been in North Augusta for 20 years now and with Project Jackson getting underway the city will be able to continue their momentum.
"With the attention of Project Jackson and other things it will build upon itself," said Glover, "We're already seeing businesses in our downtown open, new businesses. That we haven't had in decades."
With progress comes the need for more improvements. The next thing will be for more hotels added in the area to support big crowds like those at the Peach Jam.
"Well that's been the one thing we've really missed out on with the Peach Jam over the years," said Glover.
With plans for a hotel in Project Jackson and another possibly on the way at Exit 5, those problems could be gone soon.
The tournament started Wednesday, July 8th, at 5 O'Clock PM and goes until Sunday. Games begin at 9 AM Thursday thru Sunday. Tickets are $5 per session and $30 for a tournament pass.