ATLANTA, Ga. | The Women's Basketball Coaches Association in partnership with Beyond Sports is pleased to announce that the inaugural Beyond Sports Division III All-Star Game presented by the WBCA will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019, at the Cregger Center.
The inaugural all-star game will be played in the Cregger Center on the campus of Roanoke College prior to the NCAA Division III women's basketball national championship game. The City of Salem, Virginia, will serve as host. The tip-off time is yet to be decided.
"The WBCA Board of Directors is pleased to support and lend the association's name to this endeavor," said George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, who is president of the WBCA. "The all-star game truly is a labor of love by our Division III member coaches — led by former WBCA board member Pat Manning — and the WBCA is excited to play a role in making it happen.
"We are also grateful to Beyond Sports and the City of Salem, Virginia, for their sponsorship and to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Committee and NCAA staff for their support."
In addition to the NCAA national semifinals, national championship game and inaugural all-star game, other activities planned for the weekend include a clinic conducted by WBCA member coaches for area youth, a social gathering for Division III coaches, and a clinic for women's basketball coaches.
"Beyond Sports is honored to sponsor the women's Division III All-Star Game and to support student-athletes who are achieving excellence in the classroom and on the court," said Josh Erickson, co-founder of Beyond Sports. "For the last 10 years, we've traveled the world with many accomplished DIII student-athletes through our study-abroad programs and foreign tours and have enjoyed a front-row seat as they challenge top international competition and provide sports clinics to local youth.
"We hope the DIII all-star game will build awareness of both the outstanding athletics and the dynamic educational experiences championed at NCAA Division III institutions across the country."
Said City of Salem, Virginia, Director of Tourism Carey Harveycutter: "The City of Salem is excited to host the inaugural Division III All-Star Game! We helped launch the men's all-star game and expect to experience the same success in March. Our local community looks forward in taking part of the festivities around the game."
A committee of WBCA-member Division III coaches will select the participants from senior players in Division III. Only those Division III head coaches who are WBCA members may nominate players for consideration.
"This is a great day for Division III women's basketball! The addition of the all-star game to our championship weekend gives us the opportunity to honor and highlight our top senior student-athletes," said Manning, head coach at Williams College. "It wouldn't be possible without the support and vision of WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew and her staff as well as Josh Erickson and his staff at Beyond Sports.
"We first envisioned the addition of this game when we discontinued the third place consolation game at our national championship in 2016. To see it become a reality is a dream come true," said Manning. "Special thanks to our all-star game committee and to all the coaches who gave input along the way. It will be a wonderful weekend in Salem and a great networking opportunity for our membership. Best of all we will celebrate the careers of 20 of our top DIII student-athletes."
"We are thrilled with the announcement of the inaugural Division III All-Star Game," said Montclair State University head coach Karin Harvey, chair of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Committee. "An event like this, timed around the championship, will have exponential impact on the women's basketball community, including honoring and highlighting more outstanding student-athletes and building excitement around our championship weekend in general.
Added Harvey: "This is a great step forward for Division III women's basketball. The committee thanks the WBCA and Beyond Sports for making this event a reality."
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to those organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.
About Beyond Sports
Beyond Sports has been 'Connecting the World through Sports' since the summer of 2010. The organization was founded by Willamette University teammates Josh Erickson and Grant Leslie who first got the ball rolling as business school classmates at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Josh was an Assistant Coach with Willamette's basketball team while Grant studied abroad for a semester of business school in Europe. Unique experiences, similar visions and a whole lot of help from Willamette's Athletic Department, International Education Office and Business School provided a foundation for a new student-athlete experience! The Costa Rican sports community as well as coaches, student-athletes and study abroad professionals from across the United States have embraced our concept, shared our passion, and joined our team. In the last four years, coaches and athletes from over 80 different colleges across the United States have shared the Beyond experience, shaping the program into what it is today. We hope to continue growing opportunities and our impact in Costa Rica, and before too long, in additional locations around the world! For more information, please visit their website at http://www.beyondsportstours.com/
--- This release is courtesy of the WBCA. ---