Tarleton selected to participate in the 2022 Paradise Jam tournament in the US Virgin Islands
STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton men’s basketball is ready to spend Thanksgiving week in heaven.
The Texans accepted an invitation Friday to play in the 2022 Paradise Jam basketball tournament in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The three-game multi-team event (MTE) runs from November 18-21.
Tarleton is part of an eight-team squad that includes Belmont, Boston College, Buffalo, Drake, George Mason, Howard and Wyoming.
“We are extremely excited to play in a big tournament,” the head coach said. Billy Gillispie. “The competition, location and venue are top notch, and players will be able to enjoy a new and different setting which should be fun for everyone involved. I’d be surprised if Tarleton doesn’t have the biggest contingent fans there to support our team.”
This will be Tarleton’s first-ever trip to USVI in any sport.
“Wow, that should be fun!” said junior guard Shamir Bogue. “When we were recruited from Tarleton, Coach Gillispie promised that we would play games and take part in tournaments like this against the best competition in the country. We will have fun and do our best to represent Tarleton.”
The tournament, now in its 23rd year, is hosted at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center. All matches will be televised. The TV network and streaming platform will be announced later.
Each team is guaranteed three games in a championship-style tournament format. The tournament table will be published in the coming weeks. Final NCAA NET Rankings will be used to determine seeds and first-round matches.
Tickets and fan packages will be sold later this year through ParadiseJam.com.
About Paradise Jam
The U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam is an annual pre-season basketball tournament for men’s and women’s Division I basketball teams. Held at the University of the Virgin Islands Athletic and Fitness Center in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, the tournament offers excellent early season competition in an exotic island setting. Founded in 2000, many of the nation’s top college student-athletes have converged on St. Thomas to test their skills and enjoy November’s tropical weather.
Since 2001, the tournament has been played at the 3,500-seat UVI Sports and Fitness Center. Coaches and student-athletes have praised the venue for its custom hardwood flooring, air conditioning, and frequent sell-out crowds.
The US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam also provides an outlet for youth participation. Youth from local high schools are recruited as junior staff members to help tournament administrators organize the event. Students learn service, sales, hospitality, media relations and other skills by working alongside experienced staff members. Other young people participate in steel pan bands during welcome receptions or school bands during halftime presentations.
As the island’s second largest tourist event behind Carnival, Paradise Jam provides a significant boost to the local economy and tourism industry. The two-week, 16-team tournament attracts around 3,000 people to the islands who spend tourism dollars on island hotels, restaurants, transportation, services and souvenirs.