The first period features a number of camps including the LeBron James Skills Academy, RBK U., West Coast All-Star Camp and the Fullcourt All-West Camp.
This period will also include a handful of quality of tournaments. The adidas Take 5ive Classic is in its first year and looks to be a loaded event. It's the first time in recent memory where adidas did not operate an all-american camp and represents one of the changes of the July landscape
The second week of the month is highlighted by the Nike Peach Jam. The event always draws the top Nike teams and prospects.
The second evaluation period of the month will send most of the recruiting world to Las Vegas for a variety of events. Each shoe company will have their respective tournament from the 22nd through the 26th.
While most will be in Las Vegas, the Super Showcase is becoming a popular event, especially for Nike teams. After the Showcase (22nd – 26th) a number of other teams will head to Orlando for the AAU Nationals, which runs July 26th until August 1st, and is always a great place to be seen.
Plenty To Prove
Greg Monroe still remains at the top of our 2008 list. However there are a handful of other prospects pushing for the number one spot. Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Al-Farouq Aminu, Samardo Samuels and Delvon Roe have all made strong cases this spring and will certainly be re-assessed during July.
While the 2008 class is beginning to sort its self out, the 2009 class has already developed plenty of star power at the top and is starting to gain depth. Renardo Sidney and Xavier Henry have made their way to the top, but Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins and John Riek aren't too far behind.
July will also give us a glimpse of the future, as more 2010 prospects will begin popping up at events across the country. At this point Jeremy Tyler and DeShaun Thomas headline the sophomore class, but we will continue to see more top guys emerge as the spotlight shifts later in the month toward the younger players.
In the past there have been nearly 450 campers at shoe-affiliated camps, but that will all change this year. The camps have been cut down, and in some cases cut out. Events are focusing more on skills and development. Nike and Reebok are sticking with similar formats, while adidas is the first to completely move to a tournament event instead of a camp.
Nike LeBron James Skills Academy (Akron, Ohio)
With many involved in grassroots calling for more skill development, Nike began their positional Skills Academy's this year. The mini-camps were run in late June and were hosted by Steve Nash, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and Amare Stoudemire and featured 20 of the best prospects at their respective positions.
The culmination of the skills camps is the LeBron James Skills Academy, which will take place in Akron, Ohio from July 6th through the 9th. Most of the top performers from the Skills Academy's will be in attendance including four of Scout.com's top five. Greg Monroe, Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, Delvon Roe, Samardo Samuels and Tyreke Evans are all expected to be in attendance.
While Nike revamped their program, Reebok went through some changes too. Sonny Vacarro stepped out of the scene, making way for Chris Rivers to put on RBK U. in Philadelphia from July 6th to the 10th.
Even with changes at the top, it looks like Reebok is putting together a great event, and will have a similar schedule to the one they've had with ABCD Camp. Among the top prospects expected to suit it up in Philly are Brandon Jennings, Renardo Sidney, Elliot Williams, Malcolm Lee and William Buford.
adidas Take 5ive Classic
Although the camp setting is still alive for Nike and Reebok, adidas is taking their grassroots program in a new direction. This year they are putting on the adidas Take 5ive Classic, which will be played on the University of Cincinnati's campus from July 6th through the 8th.
Not all, but a vast majority of adidas top programs will be in attendance. The Atlanta Celtics (Derrick Favors, Chris Singleton, Howard Thompkins), Pump n' Run (Jrue Holiday, Larry Drew, Jerime Anderson, Reeves Nelson and the Wear twins) and Indy Elite (Tyler Zeller and Emmanuel Negedu) anchor a strong field of adidas teams.
Other Top Events
The two camps and the adidas tournament are among the most popular events, but there are plenty of other tournaments that will be played throughout the country in July. Here's a list of some of the top tourneys for the rest of the month:
Scout.com's Summer Schedule