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The Sun's Arizin: Villanova Wildcats news and links for July 18, 2014

Daily 'Nova links, today featuring NBA academies, backdoor payments to athletes, and Tracy McGrady keeps on kicking.

TGIF, 'Nova Nation! In case you missed the AAU action yesterday, Donte DiVincenzo and Team Final went 1-1 in the Peach Jam, with Divincenzo looking particularly impressive during their win over Houston Hoops in the evening. It's a welcome sight to see him perform like that after a start-and-stop regular season and a serious ankle injury that sidelined him for almost six weeks.

Elsewhere, Jay Wright was spotted at the Under Armour Association's "The Finals" tournament, first checking on recent offer Donovan Mitchell (who is apparently destroying the competition), before stopping by the WE-R-1 game, the team which Tim Delaney is a member of. Expect Wright to head east at some point to the Peach Jam.

And now, the "news."

Nike Peach Jam Wednesday Recap | CollegeBasketballTalk
The first day of Nike's Peach Jam didn't disappoint.

UAA Finals Day 1 recap |
Corey Evans from the UAA Finals event.

NBA academies could be good for education, not just basketball | Sporting News
The NBA could help alleviate issues with grassroots AAU basketball by forming an academy league where teams are operated by NBA clubs. That would bring the top-end of nonscholastic basketball under a top-down system where the primary motivation would be developing NBA players, not simply getting a shoe deal for the coach and team. But could an NBA academy league also help how these players are educated?

How Texas A&M paid nearly $60,000 to get Cedric Ogbuehi back for 2014 | FOX Sports on MSN
Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi likely would have been a first-round pick in the 2014 draft, but he came back to school in part because the Aggies used a special fund to pay for his insurance.

Georgia player makes a 25-minute 'Star Wars' fan film. Here's the best part. |
The SEC-themed Star Wars film you never knew you needed.

The ESPN3 Chronicles: Tracy McGrady won a home run derby (kind of), struck a guy out, then retired |
Possibly one of the most magical things that has ever happened in independent minor league baseball -- the short-lived career of Tracy McGrady...