Posted Wednesday, July 20, 1:04 p.m.
Updated 9:12 p.m.
The GW women’s basketball team will be spending Thanksgiving in the warm confines of the Bahamas. The Colonials received their second invitation in three years to the Junkanoo Jam Tournament on Grand Bahama Island and will face Purdue in their first round match-up.
“It’s important to play in this tournament because we can play some other national programs on a neutral site,” Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said Wednesday. “We have some teams that won’t play a home-and-home with us because they have 10,000-seat arenas and just won’t play on the road.”
The Colonials and Boilermakers will play Nov. 25. GW will play either the University of Texas or the University of South Carolina the next day.
“It’s good because it’s a great trip for the kids, and it allows us to play some teams we wouldn’t usually play because they are not geographical(ly) close,” Kvancz said.
GW finished last season with a record of 23-9 while Purdue was 17-13. Both teams reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Last season, the Colonials did not compete in any in-season tournament.
Colonials coach Joe McKeown is entering his 17th season at GW and will bring in a younger and taller squad next year. Incoming freshman Chantelle John is currently playing for Canada’s Junior Women’s (U-19) National Team. A-10 rookie of the year Kim Beck will be at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., from July 28 to Aug. 5 trying out for the US Junior National Team.
“We would like to think that we will challenge for the A-10 crown and make the NCAA tournament. But you never know what’s going to happen because there can be injuries,” Kvancz said. “If we are in the NCAA we would like to make it to the second round, but it’s not like the men were there are neutral sites. With schools hosting, you are going to play someone in their home and that’s why it’s so tough to get past the second round. We like to win the league but an at-large bid is good too. You can’t win it if you’re not in it.”