Women’s basketball to take part in Thanksgiving tournament

Media Credit: File Photo By Eric Lee

Tournament organizers will subject athletes and coaches to a rigorous testing regime and ban spectators from the venue to ensure safety.

Women’s basketball will compete in the 2020 DC Paradise Jam, according to a release last week.

The annual tournament, usually held in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, will take place Nov. 26-28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The field of teams will be released at a later date, but the Colonials were confirmed to be contenders on the women’s side, according to the release.

“Sports have the power to unify and inspire during challenging times – and the 2020 DC Paradise Jam tournament is a prime example of us getting creative and continuing to showcase Washington, D.C., not only as the sports capital but as a hotbed for basketball events,” Gregory A. O’Dell, the president and chief executive officer of Events DC, said in the release.

Events DC and Basketball Travelers Inc., the group that organizes the annual tournament, plan to implement “comprehensive COVID-19 protocols” to ensure the safety of all players, coaches and staff members, the release states.

The release states that Curative Inc., a D.C.-based laboratory, will provide frequent COVID-19 PCR tests for all participating student-athletes, coaches, staff members and officials “in accordance with NCAA recommendations” and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Men’s and women’s teams taking part in the tournament will be housed in the adjacent Courtyard/Residence Inn by Marriott Washington Downtown. The hotel will be equipped with specialty services like “learning spaces” for student-athletes and meeting areas for teams, the release said.

The release added that fans are not allowed to attend in person, but games will be streamed on the ESPN family of networks.

The Colonials last competed in a nonconference tournament during the 2018-19 season when the squad played in the Cancun Challenge. GW came back to Foggy Bottom empty-handed, dropping both games.

In 2017, GW played host to the Paradise Jam when damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria moved the tournament out of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Colonials picked up a win and two losses on their homecourt in the tournament.

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