Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The annual Nike Peach Jam is returning to the Riverview Park Activities Center next week for the 19th consecutive year. The tournament brings in the nation’s top high school basketball stars, as well as the major head and assistant coaches from top schools who come in for recruiting purposes. Coaches like Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Louisville’s Rick Pitino.
Another visitor will be North Augusta’s own Trey Meyer, an assistant coach with the Miami University, Ohio. Meyer, a former North Augusta high school basketball product, knows all the in’s and out’s of the Peach Jam. He has been a part of it for as long as he can remember. His father Rick Meyer, director of the Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services for the City of North Augusta, was one of the front-runners in getting the Peach Jam to come to North Augusta back in the late 1990s. Trey grew up around it each year, and looked forward to getting to be a part as a player, and possibly one day as a coach. At 28, he admits that he had no idea those big dreams would one day become a reality.
“It honestly really is a dream come true for me,” he said. “Growing up here and getting to be a part, but truly never realizing that one day I would get to come back and recruit in my hometown, and in the tournament I grew up a part of. I am humbled at the opportunity, and just try to cherish each moment.”
Meyer’s first stint as a part of the Peach Jam came as a ball boy back in his middle school days, and then in early high school years he did scorekeeping. This connection with the tournament continued when he was able to play in the Peach Jam before his senior year at North Augusta High School, with an AAU basketball team called the South Carolina Ravens.
“It was a dream come true getting to play, and I still have not forgotten those four or so games I was able to play in,” he said.
Meyer played on the same team as all-conference South Carolina guard Devan Downey, and current Miami Heat guard Toney Douglas. Following his playing days, Meyer was able to coach a squad in the 16U division of the Peach Jam during his time at Clemson University. The squad was made up of North Augusta players, and others around the CSRA.
“That was an awesome experience, and it was where I truly fell in love with coaching,” he said. “I knew it was something that I thought I wanted to do, but after that summer coaching that team, I truly knew that coaching was what I wanted to pursue.”
This is not Meyer’s first time back at the Peach Jam as a coach. He spent time at Tennessee State as a graduate assistant coach, and last year for Miami University.
“The Peach Jam has been such a huge part of my life, and I love North Augusta, so getting to come home and be a part of it is so special for me,” he said. “I feel extremely blessed for the opportunity.”
This July is a busy month for Meyer as it is prime time for college coaches and recruiting.
“I am traveling a lot, and recruiting at different tournaments, as well as working out our players back in Oxford, so it is a busy summer but I love it,” he said.
There are a number of things that Meyer is looking forward to with his return home.
“Man, I can’t wait to just come home, see my family, walk into the Recreation Center I grew up playing in, grab me some of those Georgia peaches in the hospitality room, and watch some great basketball,” he said.
The Nike Peach Jam runs this year at the Riverview Park Activities Center from July 16 through 20.
Austin Davis is an intern for The North Augusta Star.