ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – Basketball Travelers, Inc., will take three NCAA Division-I men’s basketball teams on summer foreign tours to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the company announced Friday. BTI has partnered with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism and Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation to bring in three American Division-I universities, as well as two Canadian university teams, to the islands this August.
In April, the NCAA sanctioned the U.S. Virgin Islands as an international tour destination for Division-I universities, allowing James Madison University, the University of Northern Colorado, and Vanderbilt University the opportunity to travel to the U.S. territory.
Basketball Travelers, the company that hosts the annual Paradise Jam basketball tournament on St. Thomas, has created the Paradise Jam Summer Tours, providing visiting teams with the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the U.S.V.I., while playing competitive out-of-season games against international opponents.
“We’re very excited to build on the success we’ve had with the Paradise Jam for the last 18 years and bring additional teams to the Virgin Islands,” said Nels Hawkinson, CEO of Basketball Travelers. “We’re looking forward to beginning this new initiative and continuing our great partnership with the U.S. Virgin Islands and the people here.”
In addition to the five teams traveling to the territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands National Team will compete in the Paradise Jam Summer Tours, marking the first time in 15 years the national team will compete in the islands. Fans hoping to see the U.S.V.I. National Team will have their first opportunity when the side faces Vanderbilt University in the opening game of the Paradise Jam Summer Tours, August 13 on St. Croix.
Games will continue on St. Thomas, with competition held at the U.V.I. Sports & Fitness Center. Paradise Jam Summer Tours concludes Wednesday, Aug. 23, with a game between James Madison and the U.S.V.I. National Team. Tickets for all games will be available at the door.
The approval of the U.S. Virgin Islands as a foreign tour destination will allow for future growth of the Paradise Jam Summer Tours. All NCAA Division-I sports are now sanctioned to travel to the territory for summer tours, including volleyball, football, soccer, and the other 20 NCAA-sponsored sports. Basketball Travelers has also agreed to utilize local FIBA-certified basketball referees, in addition to bringing in NCAA-certified referees, to officiate all of the games.
For more information about Paradise Jam and Basketball Travelers, visit paradisejam.com and basketballtravelers.com.