NBA players LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and others who serve as Peach Jam coaches

Every year, several NBA players flock to Riverview Park Activities Center two hours outside of Atlanta to watch and help coach the next generation of young talent coming up. This year, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James showed up Wednesday evening to coach his son, Bryce, and his 16-under Strive For Greatness team. If it wasn’t enough to have one of the best players in the world to ever play as the head coach, sitting right next to James on the bench was four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo.

All three coaches on the bench wore matching team polos and shorts and were active all game, poring into these young players’ careers and giving them advice. It was a close game as both teams battled, but the Florida Rebels came out with the win, 72-67, as they continue with a 3-0 record during pool play. Strive For Greatness is now 1-1, facing a very tough Mokan Elite (Kansas) on Thursday evening. Bryce, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard in the 2025 high school class, finished with nine points in the loss and couldn’t get things going from behind the perimeter, going 1-for-6 from 3-point range.

This isn’t the first time that James has coached at Peach Jam. Two years ago, he was on the bench again coaching his oldest son, Bronny, in a game against Juwan Howard’s son (and No. 11 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft) Jett Howard. Coach James is very active, calling plays, drawing up different scenarios during timeouts and pulling players aside to correct mistakes.

Rondo has been involved in coaching the next generation of young talent since 2018 when he was a coach at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and has continued to consistently show up during the offseason at different camps and tournaments to spread his knowledge of the game, especially at the point guard position.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Chris Paul made his way to the bench of his EYBL team, CP3, as they faced Team Final (Pennsylvania) in the main gym. For the last 10 years, Paul has traveled to North Augusta with his family to help coach at Peach Jam every year. Past players from his program include Montrezl Harrell, Theo Pinson, Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White and this year’s 45th pick in the NBA Draft, G.G. Jackson.

In August, Paul will host 25 of the top guards in the incoming senior high school class and college freshmen and sophomores for his CP3 camp in Los Angeles. Last year, he invited other NBA players like Devin Booker, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan to play 5-on-5 with the young players, an experience a lot of prospects don’t get to have.

Carmelo Anthony’s son, Kiyan, is playing up a division at Peach Jam for Team Melo with Anthony taking in every game this week. The recently retired Anthony is a familiar face at the top AAU event and has been on the sidelines all spring and summer supporting his son and his team. Last year, Anthony was at Peach Jam helping coach up Cam Whitmore, who went No. 20 overall to the Houston Rockets in this year’s draft, and was sitting courtside for the blockbuster matchup between Cooper Flagg and Cameron Boozer Wednesday morning.

Out of all the NBA stars and former players who show up to help coach and support the high school players at the biggest AAU event of the summer, Bradley Beal is the most consistent figure for his team, Brad Beal Elite. Not only does he show up to coach at Peach Jam, but he’s also present on the sidelines for the majority of the games during the regular EYBL season. Beal coached during Wednesday’s close game against the top-three player in the incoming senior class, Tre Johnson, and Houston Hoops as Brad Beal Elite won, 55-52. Jayson Tatum, Darius Garland, Moses Moody, Brandon Miller (the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft) and Nick Smith Jr. have all played for Beal’s program prior to reaching the NBA.

NBA scouts have been at Peach Jam since Monday and starting Thursday, college coaches are allowed to watch and recruit players on the 84 teams participating on the biggest summer stage. Although the focus will be on the players and how they’re performing on the court, it will be hard for coaches and scouts not to glance on the sidelines with all the NBA star power in the building this week.

Lakers forward LeBron James leaning down and dribbling around Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo

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