The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has announced it will host the first Virgin Islands HBCU Basketball Classic at the UVI Sports & Fitness Center in St. Thomas.
The classic will feature a men’s and women’s tournament with 12 games in three days beginning Nov. 3. Additionally, the tournament will serve as the opening event for UVI’s 2021 homecoming and the return of college athletics, which were canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“UVI Athletics is thrilled to offer the first Virgin Islands HBCU Classic which we expect will create a lasting tradition of competition, community engagement, cultural and institutional pride as well as education to further foster the support of HBCUs,” Dr. Jerel Drew, director of Athletics at UVI said in a release. “We anticipate an exciting Homecoming Week filled with festivities for all ages.”
Teams involved in the tournament include Arkansas Baptist College, Hutson-Tillotson University, Warner University, Wilberforce University, and UVI, all of which are HBCU schools except Warner.
Each day will feature a theme. The first night, Nov. 3 will be known as Buc’s night and will celebrate current and former UVI student-athletes culminating in a Hall of Fame ceremony. Nov. 4th will be U.S.V.I. high school night. The games that night will be free for all local high school students, and they will have the opportunity to apply to the colleges participating in the tournament. The last night of the tournament will be HBCU Greek night, where UVI will recognize all its former and current Greek organization students. All games will be televised on various platforms.
“We are excited for our basketball programs to be selected for this event,” said Dr. Monique Carroll, director of Athletics at Hutson-Tillotson. “This will be a phenomenal experience for our student-athletes and a great way to return to action against a field of teams who will be excited to compete as well.”