Junior Athletics of the Midwest, or JAM or Jamball as it's commonly known, has been around in Denver for over 20 years. Each year, the competition gets tougher and tougher. A parent recently asked us why this is so. There are many reasons why, and here are five reasons why the JAM Spring and Fall Leagues keep getting more competitive:
- Colorado basketball players are truly getting better. There are more basketball skills development and training options around the Denver metro area than ever before.
- There are many families moving here from areas where basketball talent is very high, like California, Texas and the East Coast.
- JAM started out as a recreation basketball league, but over the course of its history, more and more competitive clubs have been participating. These clubs tend to always hold tryouts, a process that naturally selects the more skilled kids.
- High schools are boosting their basketball feeder teams. A feeder team is defined as a group of boys or girls that will eventually "feed" into the same high school. When a program can foster the same group of neighborhood kids from grade school through middle school, this really helps team chemistry develop. Basketball, after all, is a team sport and team chemistry can take several seasons to nurture.
- Another reason, and arguably what is skewing competition the most, is that competitive clubs aren't always honest with their teams placements. JAM Leagues have a lower NIT and higher NCAA skill division. Clubs will place teams conservatively in the lower skill division, even though these teams should be playing at the upper level. There are many reasons why clubs do this, but the most obvious may be to keep memberships/retention high. Turn over within competitive clubs is at an all-time high, and loyalty is very hard to come by. More wins keeps players and families coming back for more, and unfortunately, this approach may not always challenge kids enough, let alone make them better players.
Click/tap to learn more about our Competitive Basketball Teams and the tournaments and leagues they compete in.