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Nike cancels EYBL season due to pandemic

Nike announced Saturday it was canceling its 2020 Elite Youth Basketball League season because of the coronavirus pandemic, ending any chance the prestigious grassroots events would be played later in the summer or early in the fall.

“As we continue to navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19, we are canceling the remainder of the 2020 EYBL season,” the company announced on its EYBL website. “This was not a decision taken lightly, but the health and safety of our athletes, families, fans and employees is our top priority. We look forward to bringing the EYBL back in 2021.”

The EYBL is considered the best of the grassroots circuits, featuring hundreds of the nation’s top high-school prospects spread out among 40 teams. In most years, the circuit has four regular-season events in April and May and culminates with the Peach Jam in July. The Peach Jam is the most prestigious AAU tournament every spring and summer.

The NCAA announced earlier this week it was extending the dead period in recruiting until the end of July, effectively canceling the men’s basketball live evaluation period in July. The two live periods in April had already been canceled. Live periods are the only times during the spring and summer when college coaches can go out on the road and watch potential recruits.

There have been discussions on potentially having live periods in August, September and October, sources told ESPN. With this decision, though, Nike’s events won’t be part of any rescheduled live periods.

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