|Students adorned the Sports and Fitness Center (SFC) with their UVI gear |
and painted faces to cheer the Buccaneers to victory.
With a score of 77-61, the UVI Buccaneers defeated the British Virgin Islands All Star team during the annual Paradise Jam exhibition game, held Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in UVI’s Sports and Fitness Center. Paradise Jam gives men’s and women’s college basketball teams a pre-season opportunity to test and fine-tune their skills while having some fun in the sun.
|Coach Myron Brown gives the team a pep talk |
during the 2015 Paradise Jam game against the BVI All Star team.
The Bucs earned an early lead in the game and held on to it throughout the first and second quarters, bringing the halftime score to 36 – 21. In the third quarter, BVI pulled ahead quickly and forced UVI to play catch up; but in the end, the Bucs sealed the victory.
Captain of the Bucs, John Nunnally, led the way, contributing 20 points to the team’s win. Paul Watson and Leo Castillo both chipped in with 10 points apiece; and Steven “Ace” Watkins, forward, managed to block six shots and grab eight rebounds.
Coach Myron Brown has been conditioning the players since October 2015 and describes practice as “structured and organized.” After reviewing plays, the players work the defensive side of the ball for more than half of an intense three hour practice.
The game included halftime performances by the UVI Treasures Dance Team and the cheerleaders. The dance team took the floor and energized the audience with their shimmering gold outfits and an original hip hop, R & B and Spanish infused routine. The cheerleaders followed with an exceptional rhythmic and acrobatic number, jam-packed with smiling faces, pompoms, and even more energy.
While the action taking place on the court was, of course, the highlight of the night; there was action stirring on the bleachers as well. Behind the dance team and cheerleaders sat a dedicated crowd of painted faces, blue and white shirts, and a placard that read, “What the Bucs.” It all came together as a creative and exciting display of school pride. “I have dreamed of this during various basketball games in the past, and to see it manifest itself was very touching and inspiring,” said President David Hall in his emailed community address.
What’s next on the Bucs docket? For spring 2016, they will participate in the Liga Atletica Interuniversitaria, the Intercollegiate Athletic League of Puerto Rico. According to Coach Brown, the team’s toughest challenges have to do with support – from the University campus and the VI community. “We hope to represent the University in high class model where everyone will be proud to call themselves a Buccaneer,” he says.