Nike Cancels 2020 EYBL High School Events Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

MAPLE GROVE, MN- MAY 23: Jarred Vanderbilt #2 from Houston Hoops and Victory Prep Academy during Session Four of the Nike EYBL on May 23, 2015 at Maple Grove Community Gym in Maple Grove, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

Nike announced Saturday the cancellation of the 2020 Elite Youth Basketball League because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports tweeted Nike's statement on the matter:

Matt Norlander @MattNorlander

Big news in CBB recruiting: Nike has officially nixed its premier grassroots hoops circuit, the EYBL, for all of 2020. This means no Peach Jam—or any other Nike grassroots event—even if NCAA allows for a live eval period in fall. News per EYBL’s homepage: https://t.co/7h9zmvdahY https://t.co/5Or6Dpz5RV

The EYBL is a circuit that features many of the best high school players in the nation. AAU travel teams comprised of players who are 17 years and older compete, and it is considered a recruiting tool for colleges.

The Nike EYBL was founded in 2010, and several NBA stars were part of the circuit.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young are just a few of those players.

Norlander reported there is "still hope" the NCAA will allow live evaluation events at some point if given the necessary health clearance to do so, but he noted Nike's lack of participation figures to be a major blow.

The biggest cancellation related to the campaign is the Peach Jam, which is played every July in North Augusta, South Carolina. The Peach Jam makes up the circuit finals and features the best of the best.

While scouting high school teams is important, the EYBL is generally viewed as a better barometer since it primarily consists of top-flight talents with college basketball aspirations.

The 2020 NCAA tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended.