(Nov. 26, 2013)
OGDEN -- The Wildcats will be in paradise -- next year.
This season, Weber State is one of two schools in the country to have played fewer than three basketball games at this point. It's a function of not being able to gain entrance in a preseason tournament, WSU coach Randy Rahe says.
Next year will be different. The Wildcats will participate in a 2014-15 preseason tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Paradise Jam.
"The guy that runs the tournament, I've known him for a long time and I asked him a few years ago we'd like to come to the tournament," Rahe said. "We want to go to a challenging tournament, we want to go on a nice trip for the kids, we want to play high-level teams. He finally called and said, we've got an opening, do you guys want in? He got probably tired of me bugging him."
The caveat? Rahe and Weber State administrators had two days to decide if they could make the trip work. They pulled it off by finding another guarantee game this year to pay for the travel.
"That's why we picked up UCLA," Rahe said. The Wildcats will play the Bruins in Los Angeles on Dec. 22.
This season, Rahe said he would prefer to have played more games by now, but he "tried, begged to get into" seven different preseason tournaments and wasn't allowed in.
"Scheduling is brutal," he said. "It's just brutal and it always has been."
Until you make it to paradise.