Playaz Headline Jam Fest

Summer ball is more than a bit of a misnomer. Why? It kicks off in the spring, of course, and it continues into the fall. Case in point: The Hoop Group is putting on its Jam Fest this weekend at various venues in North Jersey.

Headlining the 46-team field in the senior/open division are the Long Island Panthers, the Tim Thomas Playaz, the New York Ravens, the New Jersey Celtics (the St. Pat's school squad), the Newark Rams, Positive Image and Connecticut Select.

Among some of the big-name players expected to be on hand: Villanova-bound PG Mike Nardi, with the Celtics; re-classified junior stud SF/SG J.R. Smith, with the Playaz; and Bronx (NY) St. Ray's senior PG Daon Merritt, with the Ravens.

Play in the upper division starts bright and early Saturday, at 9 a.m., in Seton Hall's rec center. The finals are set for Sunday afternoon. Games in younger brackets are being held at Rutgers-Newark and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Hit for courtside coverage throughout the weekend.

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