The in-state team Nike sponsors in its annual Elite Youth Basketball League, widely regarded as the top summer league for prep ballplayers in the country, is transitioning from Red Storm Basketball in Baton Rouge to EP4 Elite in New Orleans.
Bryan Denison, assistant director of the Red Storm program, confirmed the news on Twitter late Wednesday morning.
#1 It's with mixed feelings that I can finally announce that @RedStormBBall has transitioned the nike EYBL program to EP4 in New Orleans.— Bryan Denison (@bryan_denison) January 28, 2015
EP4 Elite is named for first-year Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton, who was the 10th overall pick in last year's NBA Draft after starring for ULL from 2011-14. Payton is a native of Gretna who attended John Ehret High School in Marrero.
It's extremely common for current and former NBA players to sponsor and lend their names to programs that compete in the EYBL. Additional examples include the Mo Williams Academy, based in Dallas, and Each 1 Teach 1, a program based in Florida that's sponsored by Amar'e Stoudemire and last summer included future Tiger basketball players Antonio Blakeney and Ben Simmons.
The move will leave former Red Storm participants and college prospects like Skylar Mays and Wayde Sims of University High and Troy Green of East St. John, just to name a few, with a choice to make regarding relocation.
McDonogh 35 guard DeJon Jarreau, currently Scout's top-rated player for the Class of 2016, has already informed TSD he'll suit up for EP4 Elite this summer.
Red Storm first received Nike's sponsorship back in 2013, taking the reins from a Shreveport-based operation. TSD wrote about that transition, and how it came about, in this long-form piece that went on to be named the top web feature in the state in 2013 by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.