Nov. 9, 2002 – Okay, sports fans, it's time to plan to come out and welcome the NCAA men's basketball players and their traveling fans who'll be coming for the Paradise Jam Basketball Tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands' Sports and Fitness Center later this month.
The second annual Paradise Jam Dockside Jamboree will be held at Havensight Mall from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, and lots of action is planned even though it's away from the basketball court.
Throughout the evening, fans can talk to and get autographs from team members from Brigham Young University, Kansas State, Toledo, St. Bonaventure, Virginia Tech and Michigan. Since the Paradise Jam Tournament gets under way the next day and you can't know which team will be champion, you'll have to get autographs from all the teams, just so you don't miss out.
At 6:30 p.m. there will be a short basketball clinic conducted by Kevin Cook, coach of the WNBA Houston Comets. There will also be a free-throw contest between players from Virgin Islands middle and high schools.
P'Your Passion and Bertha C. Boschulte Steel Orchestra will be among the bands providing the evening's entertainment. There'll be local foods, mocko jumbies, door prizes including Paradise Jam tickets, and stores open late for Christmas shopping.
Sponsors of the event are The West Indian Company, Ltd., Havensight Merchants and Professional Association, Cruzan Rum distributed by Premiere Wine and spirits, Coca Cola Bottling Company, and The Committee to Revive Our Culture.
Paradise Jam team / player news:
Every day changes the NCAA basketball season, and the Paradise Jam rosters are no exception to that.
The Michigan Wolverines will officially open their season in the Virgin Islands, says the Michigan Men's Basketball web site. They'll go from the Paradise Jam to open their home schedule Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Then they travel to Durham, N.C. to meet Duke University, where "Go Blue" will meet "Go Duke" Blue Devils.
But in news that just broke, the University of Michigan has self-imposed sanctions for misdeeds that reportedly occurred during the reign of the "Fab Five" – which included now-NBA player Chris Webber — back in the early '90s. The school has informed the NCAA that they will forfeit games won from 1992-1999 while four players were ineligible, which means forfeiting several Final Four victories and taking down four championship banners, and no longer mentioning them in programs; repay about $450,000 to the NCAA for postseason play; declare the men's team ineligible for participation in this season's tournaments; and place the men's basketball program on probation for two years.
But has this sad situation daunted the team about to open the 2002-2003 season? Apparently not, and the Virgin Islands can expect to see determined players playing good basketball when they come here. To read the positive comments of some of the current Michigan Wolverines about the situation, go to the Michigan Men's Basketball site. Looks like their attitude is "Play ball!"
And the Duke University women's basketball team has to rethink and replan, because sophomore guard-forward Monique Currie tore an anterior cruciate ligament just five seconds into an exhibition game on Nov. 5, and she'll be out for the season, according to the GoDuke website. Despite that, the USA Today/ ESPN poll the next day put Duke women at the top spot, with 25 of 39 first-place votes. The team returns six other letterwinners from last season, including junior Alana Beard, who has a locker-full of "best" and "first" records and accolades. She scored 19 points in 20 minutes of action in that same exhibition game. So the fans can expect to see how the No. 1 team reinvents itself as the season opens. And their attitude also will be "Play ball!"
For the complete playing schedule (men, Nov. 22-25; women, Nov. 28-30), see Source earlier article, Preseason #1 Duke Women to be at Paradise Jam
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