By Jeff Borzello
With the elimination of the April recruiting period, July has become the most important recruiting month of the year for college coaches. There are two “live” periods, where coaches can be on the AAU circuit and watch prospective recruits. One runs from July 6-15, the second goes from July 22-31. There are major events in cities all across the country, but here’s a quick guide to the best tournaments and camps over the next three weeks.
LeBron James Skills Academy, July 5-8, Akron University (Akron, Ohio): The best non-tournament event of the month, as dozens of the best high school (and college) players go through drills for two days and then games for two days.
Reebok Breakout Challenge, July 5-9, Philadelphia University (Philadelphia, Pa.): Reebok returns to the circuit this year with the Breakout Challenge, an ode to where John Wall first burst onto the scene back in high school.
Adidas Invitational, July 6-9, North Central High School (Indianapolis, Ind.): The best Adidas-affiliated AAU teams compete against one another in one of the best tournaments all year.
Great American Shoot-Out, July 8-11, Duncanville Fieldhouse (Duncanville, Tex.): The period between the shoe camps/tournaments and the Peach Jam is notoriously slow – this event will help fill in the gaps.
NY2LA Summer Jam, July 12-15, Homestead High School (Mequon, Wisc): Although it’s not the Peach Jam, plenty of the best AAU teams in the country will gather outside of Milwaukee.
Nike Peach Jam, July 12-15, Riverview Park Activity Center (North Augusta, S.C.): The best event of the summer, bar none. The Peach Jam is the culmination of three Nike-affiliated tournaments in the spring.
Adidas Super 64, July 22-26, Rancho High School (Las Vegas, Nev.): One of three major Las Vegas tournaments, the Super 64 will have nearly all the best Adidas-affiliated travel teams.
Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Live, July 22-26, Durango High School (Las Vegas, Nev.): Hal Pastner gets back on the scene with a Las Vegas tournament. It might have trouble going against the Fab 48 and Super 64, but it will have talent.
Las Vegas Fab 48, July 22-25, Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nev.): Arguably the best of the Las Vegas events, the Fab 48 came out with a bang last summer in its inaugural year.
AAU Super Showcase, July 24-27, HP Field House (Kissimmee, Fla.): While many teams are in Las Vegas, Florida also draws plenty of the top teams. This is a good tune-up for the AAU nationals
Desert Duel, July 27-28, Mesquite High School (Gilbert, Ariz.): A two-day event in the deserts of Phoenix, the Desert Duel has many of the top West coast teams or clubs that decided to stay out there after Vegas.
AAU Nationals, July 26-August 1, ESPN Wide World of Sports (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.): The culmination of the month. Teams of all different shoe affiliations head to Orlando to crown a true AAU national champion.