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West Virginia State Comes Back to Defend YES USVI Classic Title on Dec. 15

West Virginia State University’s men’s basketball team comes back to St. Thomas this December to defend its YES USVI Basketball Classic championship title. (Photo by Ananta Pancham)

The YES USVI Basketball Classic heads to the University of the Virgin Islands on Dec. 15-17, bringing West Virginia State University’s men’s basketball team back to defend its title.

The Yellow Jackets took last year’s Classic championship with a 73-59 victory against Tusculum and are ready to turn out another winning performance, starting with this year’s opening game on Dec. 15 against the University of Fort Lauderdale. Games start at 9 a.m., then continue at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., and 3:15 p.m.

The 2023 tournament will be held at UVI’s Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center and will follow the same three-day format as past years, with four quarterfinal games being played on the first day. The semifinal games will take place on the second day, with the championship being decided on the final day, Sunday, Dec. 17. Other schools participating include Clinton College, Claflin University, Virginia State University, Bloomfield College, Allen University, and the University of the Virgin Islands.

For brackets and times, click here.

“From start to finish, each game displays collegiate basketball excellence, with the raw power, precision, and passion of these future hoops legends as they showcase their skills on the court,” said tournament founder Ernest Ruffin, Jr. “For another year, we invite the V.I. community to join us courtside and experience the intensity, the camaraderie, and the sheer brilliance of collegiate-level play that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

The tournament also includes a special complimentary basketball clinic for young 6-12 grade athletes, which will take place at the Ivanna Eudora Kean gymnasium on Thursday, Dec. 14, from 4-6 p.m.

Ticket prices at the door are $10 per day for adults, $5 per day for students ages 5-17, and $5 for seniors. Live streaming of the YES USVI Classic is available for $5.99 per day and can be purchased at yesviclassic.booktix.net. More information on the tournament can be found at www.yesusviclassic.com/.

Tournament host, Young Entrepreneurz Solutions (YES), is a non-profit organization specializing in teaching middle and high schoolers the foundation of entrepreneurship and economic development across the US and the Caribbean. Former Rutgers University award-winning Adjunct Professor Ernest Ruffin Jr. founded the organization with the intent to give young people in underserved communities the tools to succeed in business and create economic opportunities for themselves and their respective communities. Ruffin’s organization boasts nearly 2,500 students who actively participate in YES Business Plan Challenges to prepare them for future entrepreneurial success.

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