The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s women’s basketball team will play its first-ever summer exhibition series in the U.S. Virgin Islands this weekend.

The UMKC Roos, under fifth-year head coach Jacie Hoyt, will play the USVI’s senior women’s national team on Saturday and Sunday at St. Croix Educational Complex High School’s Tim Duncan Gymnasium.

“We are so fortunate to have an opportunity like this, especially during a pandemic,” said Hoyt, who signed a contract extension with the university Monday to remain the Roos’ head coach through the 2024-2025 season. “We have some very special donors that made this possible, and our amazing medical team has worked tirelessly to make sure our team is safe and healthy throughout this whole process.”

The V.I. Health Department has given special permission for the games to be played, with all players and members of the teams’ traveling parties following COVID-19 guidelines. Because of this, fans will not be allowed to attend this weekend’s games.

Missouri-Kansas City finished 10-12 overall (7-8 Summit League) last season, a year after Hoyt led UMKC to its first-ever regular-season conference championship, going 21-10 before the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will face a USVI National Team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2021 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup tournament in Puerto Rico earlier this year.

“I am incredibly thankful that we can give our players such a well-rounded student-athlete experience here,” Hoyt said.

— Bill Kiser