All-Star game coming to women's title weekend

In addition to hosting the national semifinals and title game, the Cregger Center will host the Division III women's basketball all-star game on championship weekend.

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced that The City of Salem, Virginia will host the inaugural Division III women's basketball all-star game as part of championship weekend in March 2019.

The Beyond Sports Division III All-Star Game presented by the WBCA will be played Saturday, March 16 at the Cregger Center on the campus of Roanoke College. The game time has not been announced, but it will be played before the national championship game.

The City of Salem has years of experience hosting national championship events, including serving as the host for the Division III men's basketball championship weekend for more than two decades. The men's championship weekend has included an all-star game sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches since 2010. The NCAA moved the Division III men's basketball championship weekend to Fort Wayne, Indiana for 2019 through 2022.

WBCA President and George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti announced the event on Thursday.

"The WBCA Board of Directors is pleased to support and lend the association's name to this endeavor," said Rizzotti in the release. "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 WNBA is excited to play a role in making it happen."

The game participants will be seniors selected by a committee of Division III head coaches who are members of the WBCA and only WBCA members may nominate players to participate.

"We first envisioned the addition of this game when we discontinued the third place consolation game at our national championship in 2016," said Manning, whose Williams team beat Amherst in the third place game in 2013. "To see it become a reality is a dream come true."