Happy Thanksgiving everyone and welcome to the 2006 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands! Today, the women will begin their tournament and we will have two games on the slate. At 4:00 pm (AST), we will see Western Michigan against Marquette and then at 6:30 pm, we will feature Auburn and Xavier.
Last night, the women were treated to a welcome reception at Paradise Point. The teams get to ride the St. Thomas Skyride 700 ft. above the town of Charlotte Amalie high above St. Thomas Harbor. Once at the top, the teams, coaches and staff are treated to a catered dinner and are able to get a beautiful night time aerial view of the harbor, take photos and enjoy some entertainment. On this night, a rock-a-billy band was playing and some of the girls and even a couple coaches cut up the dance floor.
The teams will be able to enjoy some activities, practice and enjoy Thanksgiving dinners together throughout the day. We will have scores of the day’s games here on the blog. You can also follow the games live through LiveStats on the Paradise Jam website (http://www.paradisejam.com) where we will also be posting box scores and photo galleries throughout the tournament.
So who is this basketball blogger anyway? My name is Dana Hinman and I am the media relations director for this year’s men’s (view men’s blog at http://paradisejam06.blogspot.com/) and women’s tournaments. In a previous life, I was a teacher, coach and collegiate athlete. I then moved on to work in communications for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in Atlanta, Ga., which is where I became reacquainted with Nancy Hawkinson (nee Hove) from Basketball Travelers, Inc. Turns out BTI and the WBCA have been in partnership for a few years, and Nancy and I went to high school together. (Some of you may remember Nancy’s all-star days as a basketball player from Auburn (Wash.) High School and the University of Washington) After three years with the WBCA, I missed my home in the Great Northwest and headed back west where I now live and work.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and check back for tournament updates soon!