The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Buccaneers head into the 2023-24 season with a clean slate as both teams will make their initial appearance in the NAIA’s Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). The sky is the limit for the teams as they both were predicted to finish 10th in the conference’s preseason polls.  

Second-year head coach Shannon Taylor returns to Buccaneers at the helm of the basketball programs coaching not only the men’s team but the women’s team as well. Taylor is joined by graduate assistant Lashawn Robinson who will serve as the assistant coach for both teams. “This is something new,” said Taylor. “Coach Robinson and I are willing to take on this challenge.” 

Men’s Team 

The Buccaneer men's team returns six players to the team and added seven transfers to this veteran-laden squad, including starters Naythan Shaw-Clarke and Jalil Langston, who both earned All-GCAC preseason honors. Shaw-Clarke, a senior, led the team in scoring, averaging 21.4 points per game and shooting 48.3% from the field while posting 7.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game as well. Langston, a junior guard averaged 17.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. 

The Bucs open the season at home on November 10 when they take on the Virgin Islands Elite Pro team, then head to Miami, Florida to take on St. Thomas University and Florida Memorial University in back-to-back games on November 15 and 16.  

Conference play for the Bucs begins in December at Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO) on December 9 and runs through mid-February. The season will be closed out at the GCAC tournament in Tuscaloosa, Alabama from February 28 to March 3. Non-conference games for the men’s team include a 9 p.m. game on November 18 during the Paradise Jam basketball tournament and an appearance in the “HBCU YES Classic” in December, both at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center.  

Women’s Team 

The UVI women’s team returns three players from last season in Mia Davis, Arianna Renault, and Kashay Bass. “I think the three veteran players that are returning are doing a great job and will be able to lead the rest of the team in a positive direction,” said Taylor. Brea Patterson, a graduate transfer student, will be another savvy veteran Taylor will be leaning on to guide this young team.  

The Lady Bucs open the season with back-to-back games at Florida Memorial on November 15 and 16. They return to Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center for their home opener on November 29 against Champion Christian.  

The team will embark on a three-game road stretch twice this season. The first time will be on January 9, 11, and 13 as they face Philander Smith College, Rust College, and Tougaloo respectively. The second week-long road trip takes the Lady Bucs to Fisk University, Oakwood University, and Wiley University on February 8, 10, and 12, respectively. They return home to close out the regular season when they host Rust College (Feb. 15) and Tougaloo College (Feb. 17).  

All University of the Virgin Islands home games will be played at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center and away GCAC games will be streamed live on the HBCU Plus app. 


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