Southern Jam Fest: Peoples Basketball can’t pass up opportunity in Virginia

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Plenty of teams at the Southern Jam Fest have traveled to compete in the weekend’s festivities. But the Peoples Basketball 17u team and coach Kevin Jeffers, who journeyed from Canada to participate in this weekend’s tournament, knew it was an opportunity well worth the travel time for everyone involved.

“It’s all about giving these young people an opportunity and we’re willing to make that trip, make that travel,” Jeffers said following a 76-66 loss on Friday night. “We came down here, got here nice and early, got the guys rested. It didn’t show on the court unfortunately, but we bring down two teams and it’s a new program, we’re getting them into the mindset and hopefully we can get there. We’re almost there, competitive-wise, we think they can compete. It’s just that energy, we need to bring that together.”

The chance to play in the Southern Jam Fest is a great experience for the young players, but it’s also a chance for Jeffers and the rest of the Peoples’ Basketball coaches to grow a relatively new program.

“Starting a new program, one of the things that we really want to get out of it is just giving these young people a chance to develop who they are as individuals, turn them into young men and provide them an opportunity. So with that, we give them four tournaments…Going forward, our next tournaments will be Philly and New York, so we’re definitely looking forward to having a good showing there, but we’re not done here, we’re going to try and leave with a positive record.”

After a long day of travel, energy is certainly hard to come by. But Jeffers and his staff have tried to keep the team as fresh as possible, even after a long day of sitting in a car. And, despite the extensive car ride and the fatigue that comes with it, the chance to compete in the Southern Jam Fest was well worth it.

“It’s 12 hours on the GPS, but with stops and all that, it ends up being 14 or 16 hours just because you stop, you eat, you rest,” Jeffers said. “We left really early [Friday], so they slept in the car and got a good stretch when we stopped. We got here early, had a nap and got team dinner. We got to the gym early to get them loose. You think you do everything possible to get them ready for the game and hope that they’re mentally ready. We can do everything physically, but it’s the mental aspect.

“It is a long drive, I knew there was a Hoop Group tournament in New Jersey, but I’ve never been to Virginia, so the boys playing in the Boo Williams is a great experience for them.”

@AndrewKoob

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