LYNCHBURG, Va. – Tournament directors for the 2017 Paradise Jam announced on Friday that the event will be relocated to the Liberty University Vines Center, from Nov. 17-19.
The Paradise Jam was relocated from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands due to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
Friday marks the second event that has been moved due to damage from hurricanes this summer. The 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament was recently moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The tournament received several proposals to host from the participating schools with the tournament directors ultimately selection to host the 12-game event in Lynchburg. The eight-team tournament includes the Colorado Buffaloes, Drake Bulldogs, Drexel Dragons, Houston Cougars, Mercer Bears, Quinnipiac Bobcats, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and the host Liberty Flames.
Two teams from the 2016 tournament earned postseason berths. The Ole Miss Rebels earned a No. 5 seed in the NIT, and last year’s champion, the Creighton Bluejays, qualified as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2017 Paradise Jam field features four teams that played postseason basketball this past year including the Flames, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIT. Wake Forest appeared in the NCAA Tournament, while Houston and Colorado qualified for the NIT.
For 17-straight years, the Paradise Jam was hosted on St. Thomas, but once the disaster hit the U.S. Virgin Islands, the tournament directors selected host sites based upon the proposals submitted by several participating schools.
From Paradise Jam Tournament Director Jenn Asby
“We received several strong proposals from participating universities and ultimately made the decision based off of feasibility for traveling teams, hotel availability, flight availability, associated costs and practice and competition venues. We’re incredibly thankful to all of the participating teams for their willingness to make adjustments during a difficult time, and appreciative of the Liberty program for their desire to contribute to the hurricane relief efforts as part of their proposal to host the Paradise Jam. We’re looking forward to hosting an event that matches the standard we have come to expect in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
From Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw
“We are honored and thrilled to host the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at Liberty University. This event is one of college basketball’s most prestigious tournaments and we look forward to Wake Forest, Colorado, Drexel, Houston, Mercer, Quinnipiac and Drake competing on our campus. All of the tournament gate receipts will be donated by Liberty to humanitarian relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist in their recovery from the hurricane destruction. Moreover, LU Send Now will be collecting donation items from fans that will be delivered to those in need in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Liberty University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ritchie McKay
“We consider it a great privilege to partner with Basketball Travelers, our faculty, staff, and student body in supporting the relief effort in the Virgin Islands. I know by experience how hospitable the residents of these islands are who have contributed in hosting the many teams that have participated in this prestigious event in the past. In my 29 years of coaching, the Paradise Jam has been one of my all-time favorites, so we are elated that we will have the opportunity to be an extension of this event and hope that our guests feel the same type of warmth and hospitality during their stay. It speaks volumes about our leadership to support an effort not only to host this event for our community, but also to turn over the proceeds to support the relief effort in the Virgin Islands. It is again another reason why Liberty is such a special place.”
In conjunction with the tournament, Liberty University will donate all of the tournament gate receipts to the humanitarian relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to assist with the recovery due to the hurricane destruction.
All donation efforts will be coordinated through LU Send Now, the university’s quick response team for urgent disaster relief and humanitarian needs. Since the beginning of the academic year, LU Send Now has dispatched students to help with hurricane relief efforts in Texas and the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, plus currently has students working in Mexico following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Central Mexico.
Fans can stream all the games live at www.FloHoops.com. With a FloPRO subscription, fans can watch all 24 games of the men’s and women’s 2017 Paradise Jam and all 12 games of the 2017 Junkanoo Jam, in addition to having unlimited access to FloHoops’ extensive scouting and live streaming coverage of college and high school basketball and recruiting.
Fans who purchased travel packages and tickets directly through the Paradise Jam website have been fully refunded. For more information about the 2017 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, visit www.paradisejam.com.
– T. Bennett