SEATTLE – Vanderbilt will travel to Washington D.C. for the 2017 Paradise Jam as George Washington will host the Paradise Reef Division of the tournament. The Paradise Jam was forced to relocate due to damage from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria.
The women’s Island Division tournament will be hosted at a neutral site at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Fla., with Butler, Drexel, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. Both tournaments will run simultaneously Thursday, Nov. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 25.
The Commodores will play George Washington, Syracuse and Wisconsin as regularly-scheduled.
The women’s 2017 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Reef Division will be played at Charles E. Smith Center on the George Washington campus. Games start on Thanksgiving Day at 11 a.m. ET between Vanderbilt and George Washington, followed by Syracuse and Wisconsin at 1:30 p.m.
“We are honored and proud to step in and host the 2017 Paradise Jam Reef Division this November at the Smith Center," said George Washington head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. “The devastation to St. Thomas will be on all of our minds throughout the tournament and our priority is to help provide relief to the affected communities by collecting donations each day of the event. Basketball fans in the area will be treated to six terrific matchups, and we are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our wonderful campus, facility and all that this beautiful city has to offer.”
“We’re thankful to the multiple universities that submitted proposals to host their respective division of the tournaments. Our decision was ultimately made based off of feasibility for traveling teams, hotel availability, flight availability, associated costs, and practice and competition venues,” said Jenn Ashby, the Paradise Jam tournament director. “We’re incredibly thankful to all of the participating teams for their willingness to make adjustments during a difficult time. We’re looking forward to hosting an event that matches the standard we have come to expect in the U.S. Virgin Islands and look forward to returning to the territory next year.”
Paradise Jam tournament directors have partnered with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to accept donations to aid in hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. To contribute to the relief fund, please visit paradisejam.com. All money donated will be used directly for hurricane relief efforts in the territory and donations are tax deductible. George Washington University is also coordinating on-site donation efforts with ticket revenue and apparel sales benefitting hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We’re thankful to everyone involved and cannot wait for another great year of Paradise Jam,” Ashby said. “While teams are eager to compete in the tournaments, they’ve also shown a strong desire to band together and provide support to the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’re so proud and excited to have universities participating that are willing to open their hearts to a territory that has given so much happiness and fun to student-athletes and teams for the past 17 years.”
The event, which has been held in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for 17-straight years, was forced to relocate due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September. Despite efforts to keep the 2017 Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands and continued efforts by tournament staff to work through solutions, the infrastructure damage cause by the hurricanes did not allow for the tournament to be hosted in the territory.
Each participating university in the women’s 2017 Paradise Jam was provided the opportunity to submit a bid to host the tournaments. Tournament directors selected the host sites based upon proposals submitted by several participating schools.
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 and a complete game schedule, please visit www.paradisejam.com.
For more information on the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team check them out on the website at www.vucommodores.com , Twitter at @VandyWBB., Instagram at @VandyWBB and on Facebook at Vandy Hoops.