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Carvers Bay Summer League hosts high school basketball scrimmages

HEMINGWAY – It’s never too early to get in reps on the basketball court, and the Carvers Bay Summer League provided that opportunity.

The summer league was back at the school for the first time since 2018, with the 2019 and 2020 summer leagues being canceled for facilities renovations and COVID-19, respectively.

The event took place over two weekends on June 18, 19, 25 and 26, and featured roughly 40 schools from the Grand Strand area, other areas of South Carolina and even had a few schools represented from other states.

“I thought it was a wonderful event,” Carvers Bay boys basketball head coach and athletic director Jeff Mezzatesta said. “Everybody got a lot of work in. The coaches did and the kids did. I think everybody was appreciative just to have a little bit of summer normalcy … It was nice to be able to hear basketballs and kids cheering and screaming and having fun in June again.”

The summer league did not allow fans this year out of caution of COVID-19, but Mezzatesta hopes the event will be able to have spectators next year.

The Carvers Bay Summer League featured wall-to-wall scrimmages, with games happening in the Carver Bay High School main gym, auxiliary gym and Carvers Bay Middle School gym simultaneously.

The summer league, which has been in existence for a little under two decades, featured local teams including Carvers Bay, Georgetown, Waccamaw, Lowcountry Prep, St. James, Socastee, Myrtle Beach and Conway.

The event also featured SC schools such as Orangeburg-Wilkinson and York Prep, several schools from the Charleston and Florence areas, and a team each from Ohio and West Virginia, the latter being Mezzatesta’s alma mater, Hampshire High School.

Mezzatesta likes how the event brings players and schools together who normally wouldn’t interact otherwise.

Carvers Bay Summer League 5

Players from South Florence (blue) and Ashley Ridge (white) look to grab a rebound during a scrimmage at the Carvers Bay Summer League on June 25. Danny Kelly/Staff

“And that’s what’s fun to see, too, is the kids actually talking, talking about ‘Hey, where are from?’ or ‘Where’s your school at?’,” Mezzatesta said. “That’s what makes it so much fun.”

Mezzatesta is hoping to have five gyms for the event next year with the addition of the Choppee Center, which did not host the event this year because of COVID-19, and Pleasant Hill Elementary, which is currently undergoing construction.

Mezzatesta is glad the event was able to showcase all Carvers Bay has to offer.

“People have just been in awe of our facilities, and that’s a testament to Georgetown County and Georgetown County School District, and really to the people who are putting into the school; our taxpayers,” he said. “…That’s the other reason I love the summer league is because it gives people a chance to see my community and our area the way I see it, just that it’s a hidden gem and that it’s beautiful.”

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