The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) men’s basketball team returns home to compete in 2023 “YES U.S. Virgin Islands HBCU Classic” at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center from December 15-17. 

The tournament will consist of eight teams: Clinton College, Claflin University, Bloomfield College, Allen University, Virginia State, West Virginia state, University of Fort Lauderdale, and The University of the Virgin Islands. Action begins at 9 a.m. on Friday. 

UVI will open the tournament facing off against Virginia State University (VSU) in the third game of the day at 1:15 p.m. AST. 

The Buccaneers enter the match up with a 2-4 record on the season. Both of their wins this season have come at home and they look to remain undefeated at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center, where they 85 points per game. 

The Buccaneers are led offensively by Maurice Smith, Jr. He is averaging 14 points per game while shooting 40% from the field and a notable 45.8% from three-point territory which is second-best in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). The 6-foot-7 forward also averages 7.8 rebounds per contest.  

Jalil Langston, Jalen Monroe and Naythan Shaw-Clarke are also averaging in double figures for the Bucs with 12.8, 11.5, and 10.8 points per game, respectively.  

Senior William Steger will return and make his season debut for the Buccaneers. The veteran guard averaged 11.5 points and 4.3 assist last season.  

The Buccaneer’s first opponent, VSU comes into the matchup at 4-5 on the season after a 90-79 victory in their last matchup with Shaw University. However, the Trojans are 1-3 on the road, which could give the Buccaneers a competitive advantage as they are currently undefeated at home.  

Due to the format of the tournament the UVI’s second matchup of the tournament is to be announced pending the results from Friday’s game. 


About UVI Athletics 

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and, as of July 1, 2023, competes in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Entering the 2023-24 season, the Buccaneers will begin their 17th season of athletic competition. As the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the Caribbean, UVI currently sponsors six sports, including men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. For more information on UVI Athletics, visit UVIAthletics.com


# # #