Ray Victor(Left) and Halstead 'JR' Chiverton
Photo Credit: Provided
Basketball fans in the Territory will get to see two of their very own compete at the college level when four universities take to the court on November 23 and 24 for the BVI Tropical Showdown powered by BVI Future Sports.
Teammates Ray Victor and Halstead 'JR' Chiverton are expected to lead the Florida-based Warner University against Northwood University, University of Puerto Rico and the University of the Virgin Islands as they compete at the Multipurpose Sports Complex.
The teams are about the level of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II.
Steve Parillon of BVI Future Sports said that the goal of the tournament is to create a home in the BVI for pre-season basketball, where college teams come to the BVI and play official college basketball games.
He stated that there are similar events that take place on a higher level in the region and pointed to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, St. Thomas' Paradise Jam and the Battle of the Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
"These tournaments bring in a lot of fans who follow the college teams around. What we are trying to do is bring revenue into the island with this tournament, because next year we will try to bring the bigger schools; the Division 1 schools. This year it's just to start off with the smaller schools and then next year we will try bigger teams. This will be the first time in the BVI that an official college basketball game will be played," Parillon stated.
He added that one of the good things that will come out of the tournament is that Warner University has two BVI players on the team, who will be showcased to younger players in the Territory.
"This should be the first time in the BVI that an official basketball game will be played here at the Multipurpose Sports Complex and there will be two BVI players playing for the first time at home on a college team. That is going to be a good motivation for the younger men on the island; for young people to look up and say there is hope as they look at one of their own playing in college," Parillon noted.
Asked about the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College participating in the tournament, Parillon said that the BVI does not have a university and there is no organized community college team.
He stated that sponsorship is being finalized and part proceeds from the two-day event will be going towards helping the BVI Hoop It Up Foundation send more players away to colleges.