Grace Prepares for 2011 NCCAA National Tournament

The 2011 NCCAA Women’s Division I Basketball National Championship Tournament will once again be held in Northern Indiana.

The prestigious national tournament will be hosted by Grace College and the community of Winona Lake and Warsaw, Ind., March 17-19, 2011. The Orthopaedic Capital Center will be the site of all 12 games, and it will serve again as one of the finest arenas to ever house an NCCAA Championship.

“From your first step into this facility, the quality and the atmosphere that should surround an NCCAA Championship is evident,” states NCCAA Executive Director, Dan Wood. 

Fans will once again enjoy the 2,000 seat arena, and the teams will appreciate the outstanding locker rooms and VIP facilities. Under the direction of Grace College Athletics Director Chad Briscoe, his staff and various community agencies, the campus anticipates another great experience for each program and fans that attend the games.

“We are blessed with the experience of bringing a national championship to Kosciusko County,” Briscoe said. “We have enjoyed two exciting years with very competitive games, and we hope to build on the success from last year. It is an honor for our campus and community to host such a prestigious event.”

The official tournament bracket will be released at the beginning of the week of the tournament. Games will commence on Thursday, Mar. 17, at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. A Parade of Champions will occur that night at 7 p.m. to recognize all eight teams and coaches in the tournament. The second round of games will be on Friday, Mar. 18, at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m., and the games will finish on Saturday, Mar. 19, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for a three-day pass or $8 for a single-day pass. Students and kids are $2 each day.

“I appreciate all the support from our many sponsors in the community,” Briscoe continued. “Mary Kittrell (Executive Director of the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) and our entire tournament committee have done a wonderful job of assisting with the development of this tournament.”

The national tournament banquet will be held on Wed., Mar. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Kem Zolman, varsity girls’ coach at Wawasee High School, and his daughter Shanna (Zolman) Crossley, former Kosciusko County standout and current professional basketball player for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, will speak at the banquet. Shanna will serve as the chaplain for the entire tournament.

Grace College women’s head basketball coach Scott Blum shares in the excitement as the Lady Lancers look to build on their seventh-place finish in last year’s tournament. Grace is in the midst of one of the best seasons in program history and will go into the tournament with a 16-14 overall record.

 “I am very thrilled about the opportunity to host this great basketball tournament again,” Blum said. “It is a great experience for our program to play on a national level and to compete for a national title on our home floor.”

Grace College is affiliated with the NCCAA, the NAIA and is a member of the Mid-Central College Conference.

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