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SPORTS TOURISM: USVI Women’s National Team To Spar Against Missouri-KC

KINGSHILL — The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s women’s basketball team will play its first-ever summer exhibition series in the U.S. Virgin Islands this weekend.

The UMKC Roos, under fifth-year head coach Jacie Hoyt, will play the USVI’s senior women’s national team on Saturday and Sunday at St. Croix Educational Complex High School’s Tim Duncan Gymnasium.

“Because of our longstanding relationship with the U.S.V.I., helping the territory to grow through sports has been one of Basketball Travelers’ most important company missions. The Paradise Jam has been the cornerstone of that mission, but now we want to take it even further,” said Basketball Travelers Executive Director Nels Hawkinson. “Helping to boost the sports scene on St. Croix has been on our radar for a long time and we’re so excited to be able to make it happen.”

BTI has over 20 years of experience in the islands, putting on the Paradise Jam Division I college basketball tournament every November, and executing summer tours in St. Thomas since 2017. Coupling St. Croix as a new option for collegiate programs to see the territory is a brand new opportunity to attract more opportunities in sports.

“The Board and I are super excited for the opportunity to work with the Basketball Travelers Inc. and UMKC Women’s Basketball Team,” said VIBF President Earl Baker. “We see this opportunity as a stepping stone not only for the preparedness of our national teams, but also the beginning of relationships that will help grow and be beneficial to all involved as we continue to grow basketball in the Virgin Islands and of course the whole world.”

Given the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 in the territory, the trip and games – which will be played at St. Croix Educational Complex High School – have been given special permission by the Department of Health, and all members of the traveling party will follow guidelines put in place on St. Croix. Fans will not be permitted to attend the games due to COVID-19 protocols.

Off the court, UMKC will spend its time enjoying the beautiful beaches of St. Croix, checking out the scenic Buck Island, and ultimately building team chemistry for next season in one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful destinations.

“I am happy to see the U.S.V.I. take another step forward in sports tourism with the upcoming games between UMKC and the ISV women’s team,” said U.S.V.I. Department of Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte. “Women’s basketball may have found its summer home.” For more information on Basketball Travelers summer tours, visit and follow us on our social media channels.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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