They say #BasketballNeverStops and it must be true, it’s hashtagged. Well, the ubiquity of the hashtag on social media isn’t necessarily what makes this true, but it is indeed a fact: basketball never stops.
Even before the NBA finals conclude, AAU basketball has already begun. Fresh off of their high school seasons and on the heels of the NCAA’s March Madness, gyms are again packed, sneakers continue to squeak, whistles echo throughout, young hoopers are right back at it. And it extends well into the summer, culminating with Nike’s Peach Jam. And I’m not even touching on the vibrant life on the playground basketball scene, in NYC at least.
It’s a real challenge to describe Peach Jam. Even on television or through video recaps, it’s simply a unique experience that can certainly be enjoyed from afar, but is truly the kind of thing one should experience live and uncut. As a fan of the game, there’s just nothing better. There are four games going on simultaneously and each one features at least a handful of the top players in the country—and possibly beyond that. While at the edge of your seat for the game you’re watching, you might hear an uproar of Ooooohs and Aaaaaahs coming from one of the adjacent courts separated by walls and connected by a track on the upper level.
I get excited just thinking about it. I float from court to court, stopping on the baselines and other positions to create my shots. In between the action I’m sure to indulge in the fresh peaches, which are peeled for a few days in anticipation by volunteers of the major event (I can taste them now. Mmmm!).
The final four at Peach Jam this year was absolutely magical. The Georgia Stars (2015 Peach Jam champs), Team Takeover, CP3, and St. Louis Eagles made things very interesting. The buzzer beating double pump three pointer—which was well defended by team CP3—that advanced the Eagles into the title game was a shot that will no doubt be referenced for generations to come.
I hope my images can place you in the games and give you a sense of what the Peach Jam atmosphere is like. Every basketball fan should make the pilgrimage to Peach Jam at least once in their lifetime. I’m thrilled to have captured two so far and I can’t wait for the next one.