Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest to Showcase 588 Teams

The three-day event is expected to generate $7 million for Pittsburgh and draw 5,000 more fans than last year

PITTSBURGH – SportsPITTSBURGH announced today that Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest will return this weekend with more than 15,000 attendees, up from 10,000 last year. Players from more than 500 teams and some of the nation’s top AAU basketball programs, across 30 states, are expected to take the courts Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28. The event, which will take place on 36 courts at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, has expanded, due to popularity, to include basketball courts at Mt. Lebanon High School, GRIT Athletix and Chartiers Valley High School. The estimated direct spend for this event is $7 million.

Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest, which is returning to Pittsburgh for the 14th year, is an NCAA-sanctioned event, taking place during one of only two spring evaluation periods. Two hundred college coaches are expected to attend.

The Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh provides an ideal atmosphere and location to watch some of the nation’s top young talent. A record 588 teams have registered for the event this year, and fans, coaches and players will use 3,600 hotel room nights. This prestigious event is covered nationally by ESPN, Scout.com, Rivals.com, CBS Sports, SLAM Magazine, iHoops, Ball is Life, Hoops Mix Tape and many more media outlets.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest for the 14th year, with its highest attendance yet, along with some of the top high school talent in the country,” said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of SportsPITTSBURGH. “This year’s tournament will include more than 15,000 attendees including players, college coaches, fans, families and media. We look forward to an exciting three days of basketball at four locations throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The Pittsburgh community and its businesses have truly embraced this event, and we’re proud to show off our city as an authentic, iconic and legendary sports destination for one of the top amateur sporting events taking place this spring.”

More than 120 Hoop Group alumni have become elite players in the National Basketball Association (NBA), including superstars James Harden, Kevin Durant, John Wall, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving and Karl Anthony-Towns. More recently, 13 Hoop Group alumni were selected in the 2017 NBA Draft, including three top-10 picks and the number one overall selection, Markelle Fultz. Furthermore, Villanova’s 2018 National Championship team featured 12 Hoop Group Alumni, including leading scorer and game MVP, Donte Divincenzo.

“We are so excited to return to Pittsburgh and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and thrilled that the athlete and coach response has been so great that we will be expanding to new venues,” said Rob Kennedy, president of Hoop Group. “Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest is the nation’s largest spring basketball tournament, and Pittsburgh is the perfect city to host this event. With all that the city has to offer, it makes for a memorable tournament for everyone involved.”

Interview and photo opportunities are available on Friday, April 26, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Interested media should contact Kristin Wenger, 412-523-9362 (cell) or kristin.wenger@visitpittsburgh.com.

As the sports development division of VisitPITTSBURGH, SportsPITTSBURGH's primary goal is to attract and host a wide variety of sporting events in the region, providing the experience and expertise to reinforce Pittsburgh's reputation as a legendary sports town.