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SEATTLE – The upcoming Junkanoo Jam women’s basketball tournament, normally held on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas, has been relocated to the Bimini Islands of the Bahamas due to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 5-6, Basketball Travelers and Junkanoo Jam directors announced Wednesday.
The tournament, which will continue as scheduled Nov. 24-26, will be held at Gateway Christian Academy on North Bimini Island. All teams and supporters that purchased tournament packages through Junkanoo Jam and Basketball Travelers, will be automatically assigned rooms at the brand new Hilton at Resorts World Bimini.
Tournament staff made the decision to move the tournament following damage to The Grand Lucayan Resort caused by Hurricane Matthew. After an on-site inspection and communications with local staff, it was determined that the resort, where teams and supporters stay, would not be repaired in time to accommodate fans and teams.
“Obviously we are disappointed that the tournament had to be moved from Grand Bahama Island, but we are grateful to our friends in the Bahamas, who have been extremely helpful in relocating the tournament,” Neal Holden, tournament director and BTI president, said.
With no other four-star hotels available on Grand Bahama Island that can accommodate the number of travelers, the decision was made by tournament staff to move the event to Bimini. Basketball Travelers staff worked closely with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism to relocate the tournament, while maintaining the quality and comfort the Junkanoo Jam has established on Grand Bahama Island.
“Our first priority is always to the safety and well-being of our teams, fans, and stakeholders,” Holden said. “We are keeping the Bahamian people in our prayers as they recover from this natural disaster and hope we can still provide travelers with an unforgettable experience, while showing off the beauty of the Bahamas.”
Supporters who made their own arrangements and did not purchase a fan package through Junkanoo Jam and Basketball Travelers can purchase a tournament package or room at The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini via the tournament website at www.junkanoojam.com.
About The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini
The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, which was built in June of 2016, has 305 rooms, including 18 suites, eight restaurants and bars, four pools, a casino, snorkeling, big game fishing, and is located less than a 10 minute walk from the Gateway Christian Academy gymnasium. There will also be transportation provided between the gym and hotel.
About Gateway Christian Academy
The gymnasium, located at Gateway Christian Academy less than a quarter mile from the resort, is a privately-owned and air-conditioned gym. Additionally, the gym offers fiber-optics internet connectivity.
Located just 50 miles off Florida’s coast, Bimini is the closest Bahamian island to the United States, boasting miles of pristine beaches. Known as Ernest Hemingway’s favorite escape, Bimini is historically significant. Visitors from around the world enjoy its historical complexity and renowned past.