DC — not the Virgin Islands — will host 2020 NCAA Paradise Jam

Grand Canyon University’s Isiah Brown, at 2019 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, USVI. (Courtesy Basketball Travelers)

A popular annual NCAA basketball tournament usually hosted at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas will instead be held at D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center this year.

Paradise Jam will be held in D.C. this year because of COVID-19-related travel restrictions in the Virgin Islands. The NCAA Division I men’s and women’s college basketball event will be Nov. 26-28.

DC Events, the District’s sports and convention authority, worked with tours and tournaments organizer Basketball Travelers, which organizes Paradise Jam, to choose D.C. as this year’s host.

“While we would have liked to keep the tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we are pleased to have found a strong partner in Events DC,” said Basketball Travelers owner Nels Hawkinson.

This is the second time Paradise Jam has been moved out of St. Thomas. A portion of it was held at George Washington University as part of the tournament’s move to mainland venues because of damage from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

All athletes, coaches, officials and staff will be required to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

Local teams in this year’s Paradise Jam are George Mason University’s men’s team and George Washington University’s women’s team. The full list of 2020 participating universities will be announced shortly.

Paradise Jam at the Washington Convention Center will not have fans in the stands. All games will be streamed live on ESPN networks.

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