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Back in the gym, Team Thad prepares for Peach Jam, Nike EYBL debut

The top AAU program changed from the Under Armour to Nike circuit in September of 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Inside the Team Thad facilities, major Div. I offers are as common as a layup.

Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, Indiana, Memphis, Tennessee, and Texas are just some of the dozens of schools offering the players on this year's roster.

 "We've got a really good collection of talent," Team Thad program director and head coach Norton Hurd IV said. "Some of them might not be as heard of as last year's group, but I think they're going to show that they deserve to be where they are."

The AAU squad announced a major upgrade from the Under Armour circuit to Nike in September of 2019. But Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League did not play last season because of the pandemic. 

"So coming into this year, we were very excited," Hurd said. "And to even get an opportunity to get it out of the way and compete and give the kids the opportunity they deserve, that's an awesome feeling."

The team sports talent from all over the country, like 2022 four-star Jalen Hood-Schifino. 

"I'm kind of new to the program," Hood-Schifino said. "Just being around the coaching staff. Being around the guys in the gym, it's been fun."

Local talent like Tigers commit Amarr Knox and Christian Brothers guard, and Memphis target Chandler Jackson are also on the roster. 

Team Thad will participate in Peach Jam, Nike's crown jewel AAU event, beginning July 20. 

"We've got a lot of talent in here, but we still feel like we're doubted," Hurd said. "And we like it, we like taking the underdog road. As much talent as we have, in AAU a lot of people have talent, so we're ready to get after it."