US Virgin Islands sponsors basketball meet

The U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.) Department of Tourism will return as title sponsor of the eighth annual Paradise Jam basketball tournament. The U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas is one of the premier college basketball tournaments held each season.

The U.S.V.I. Department of Tourism, buoyed by the success of recent Paradise Jams and a strong relationship with event organizer Basketball Travelers, Inc., has increased their commitment to the popular basketball event, the only top pre-season college tournament that includes both men’s and women’s brackets.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has supported Paradise Jam since its inception, and we have been a proud title sponsor for the past two years,” said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson Doty. “The tournament allows our guests to experience the destination in a unique way, while we showcase America’s Caribbean to a new and ever-increasing audience. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Basketball Travelers and the Paradise Jam tournament in the coming year.”

The eight-team men’s tournament will be held from November 16 -19, 2007. Two teams that battled head-to-head in the 2006 NCAA tournament, Notre Dame and Winthrop, highlight the field. Traditional basketball powers Georgia Tech, Wichita State, Charlotte and Monmouth are joined by rising programs at Baylor and Illinois-Chicago.

The women’s tournament, held November 22-25, 2007, boasts one of the best pre-season fields in women’s college basketball history. The women are divided into two divisions: the six-team St. Thomas Division and the four- team St. John Division. The St. Thomas field is filled with traditional hoops powers, including Connecticut, Duke, Stanford, Purdue, Old Dominion and Temple. The St. John field is also strong with Indiana, Wake Forest, Texas A&M and Wichita St.

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Four of the men’s games, including the championship game, will be nationally broadcast via Fox College Sports (FCS) and selected Fox Sports regional outlets. Television plans for the women’s side of the Paradise Jam are still being finalized.

“Basketball Travelers is ecstatic to announce an enhanced partnership with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism as title sponsor of the 2007 Paradise Jam,” said Nels Hawkinson, Basketball Travelers Executive Director. “This synergistic partnership is resulting in The U. S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam quickly becoming the preferred preseason warm-weather college basketball tournament. The strength of the teams participating, the beauty of the location, the popularity of island accommodations and the local pride in this exciting event is tangible testimony to the power of this growing partnership.”

The host hotel for Paradise Jam teams, media and some fans will be the spectacular Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort.
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