June 26, 2002 – Basketball fans, stop staring at that dark black box where once were NBA games, and come out on St. Thomas to watch a week of competition basketball. Men and women senior teams from all over the Caribbean will play in the Verne R. Callwood Sr. 16th Caribbean Basketball Championships for Senior Men and Women from June 29 through July 6.
The opening ceremonies are set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
The national teams from Antigua/Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will compete in 45 games over the eight days at two venues: the UVI Sports and Fitness Center and the new Mark C. Marin Center at Antilles School.
"Senior" in the basketball world refers to players who are ages 19 and up.
The top three men's and women's teams in this championship will qualify for the 2003 Central American and Caribbean basketball competition, said Raymond "Usie" Richards, president of the V.I. Basketball Federation, which is hosting the tournament. "We are honored to open our doors to players from neighboring islands, which represents a significant breakthrough in the Virgin Islands and the sports community as well," said Richards in a release.
Tickets to games are available in series passes or nightly tickets at the door. St. Croix outlets are Hannah Rest Bakery and Pancho's in Sunny Isle. On St. Thomas, tickets are available at Family Health Center in Barbel Plaza, International Records & Tapes, and Modern Music locations in Nisky Center and Havensight.
The Federation opened a tournament office at the Wyndham Sugar Bay resort Wednesday, which will remain open for the duration of the tournament. The number is 777-7100, extension 2273. A full schedule of games will be available shortly.
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