St. Croix has Oprah and the Home Shopping Network. The locals speak English. They have Cheerios and Oreos and Cheetos, and they buy them with dollars and cents. Nevertheless, when Tim Duncan, the finest college basketball player in America, arrived on campus at Wake Forest in the summer of 1993 and his fellow students learned that he came from the U.S. Virgin Islands, he attracted all sorts of ignorant questions.
"Do y'all wear clothes down there?" asked one curious coed.
"No," replied an exasperated Duncan. "I bought everything when I got here."
St. Croix is 82 square miles of nirvana. Go south to Puerto Rico, hang a left, and it's the first beach on your right. And like Puerto Rico, it's a U.S. territory. So when Duncan is asked to describe how his upbringing might have differed from, say, that of someone who grew up in Brooklyn, he shrugs and looks stumped.
For the record, Duncan has a habit of doing that. In fact, there is the occasional story that suggests Duncan can be a little clueless about the States. Duncan's former Wake Forest teammate, Randolph Childress, recalls a conversation with Duncan during the latter's first semester in college:
"Where are you from?" Duncan asked.
"D.C.," Childress replied.