Virginia Western Community College has joined the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for men’s and women’s basketball and will begin playing in the association in 2014-15. In conjunction with the move, the College announces that it has renamed its athletics teams the Virginia Western Rapids.

“Joining the NJCAA will provide our athletes with opportunities to face greater competition and pursue greater achievements. I think it will elevate them in the classroom as well as on the court,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “With this move and the opening of our Student Life Center, we have a buzz of activities and pride around campus, and I am eager to hear everyone cheer on the Rapids.”

The NJCAA is the national governing body for two-year college athletics in the U.S. and is the nation’s second-largest national intercollegiate sports organization (to the NCAA). Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes from 525 member colleges compete in 28 different sports. Visit to learn more.

Virginia Western initially will compete in the NJCAA in men’s and women’s basketball, and could add additional sports in the future. The College will be part of Region 10, which covers Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. There are 34 colleges in Region 10, and nine within Virginia.

The Virginia Western Rapids team name replaces the long-standing Blue Stars name. A new logo incorporates the college colors of blue and gold along with a rushing river that represents the Roanoke Region’s strong outdoors attractions and symbolizes the speed of Virginia Western’s athletes.