|Mike Strong||Bridgette Mann|
ATLANTA, Ga. – Legendary University of Scranton women's basketball coach Mike Strong will return to the sideline this weekend, leading Team Strong in the inaugural Beyond Sports Women's Collegiate All-Star Game presented by the WBCA.
Strong led the Lady Royals for 34 years and ended his career as the all-time leader in career victories in NCAA Division III women's basketball history with 815. At the time, he was the only women's coach in NCAA Division III history and only the second in all of NCAA Division III to win 800 games. He finished with an overall record of 815-182 (.817).
Strong led the Lady Royals to at least 20 wins in 19 of the last 22 seasons and 26 times overall. This pales in comparison to his NCAA Division III championship in 1985 or his seven other teams that reached the Final Four (1987, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006), not to mention a semifinal appearance in the now defunct Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national tournament in his first season in 1980.
Overall, he led Scranton to 26 NCAA tournament appearances, to 16 of the Lady Royals' 19 Middle Atlantic/Freedom Conference titles, and three Landmark Conference championships (2008, 2009, 2014). He never had a losing season, and the fewest victories he ever posted in a year were 16.
These 20 all-stars to compete in Saturday's All-Star game were nominated by WBCA member coaches. The final rosters and teams were determined by a fan vote and a committee of NCAA Division III head women's basketball coaches, who are also WBCA members.
The inaugural Beyond Sports Women's Collegiate All-Star Game will be played at the Cregger Center on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, on Saturday, March 16 immediately preceding the NCAA Division III women's basketball national championship game. Tipoff is set for 5:00 p.m.
Here are the 2019 All-Stars and teams:
Lindsay Bettke, SUNY New Paltz
Taylor Blevins, Emory & Henry College
Nakira Examond, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Bryce Frank, Austin College
Jayla Harris, Virginia Wesleyan University
Jacqueline Knapp, Tufts University
Kelsi McNamara, Saint Joseph's College (Maine)
Mia Morrison, William Smith College
Ashley Oldshue, Emory University
Alecia Rohrer, Messiah College
Coach: Mike Strong, University of Scranton
Kendahl Adams, Westminster College
Jade Aponte, Hunter College
Francesca Buchanan, Hope College
Brandi Dawson, Trine University
Jaryn Fajardo, Chapman University
Olivia Freckmann, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Madeline Homoly, Washington University (St. Louis)
Maya Howard, DePauw University
Dani Kissel, Otterbein University
Maddie Merritt, Illinois Wesleyan University
Coach: Pat Manning, Williams College
University of Scranton senior guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack), along with Lucia Renikoff and Hannah Spaudling of the University of Saint Thomas and Madison Temple of Thomas More College, were originally selected to participate in the all-star game, but will be competing in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Final Four this weekend at Roanoke College.
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 is a world leader in foreign tours, study abroad programs, and international internships for college athletes. Since 2010, they've hosted more than 2,700 college athletes representing more than 600 different colleges and universities across the US and currently offer programs in 7 different countries around the globe. The Beyond Sports team includes former college athletes and college coaches who are passionate about "Connecting the World Through Sports!" For more information about Beyond Sports, visit www.beyondsportstours.com.