By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the creation of the 2014 NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Game, presented by US Bank and the NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball 3-Point and Slam Dunk Contests, presented by Rawlings. The inaugural event will take place on Saturday, March 22 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., in conjunction with the 77th annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship.
For tickets to all of these activities, go to www.NAIAHoops.com. Tickets can be purchased for as low as $5 per person for the entire day that will cover the All-Star Game, 3-Point and Slam Dunk contests and all four Quarterfinal games on March 22.
"I think this event will be a great way to showcase our student-athletes from both NAIA Division I and Division II," said Rio Grande (Ohio) head coach Ken French, Chair of the Basketball Coaches' All-Star Committee. "We have such a high level of basketball and tremendous amount of quality talent in both divisions. This game is long overdue in recognizing the outstanding student-athletes. I also believe the match-up of Division I against Division II will provide the game with a higher level of competitiveness that some all-star games may lack."
The All-Star festivities will include an All-Star Game, Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Contest. The All-Star game will take place at 8 p.m. CST on March 22 and will feature 10 players from NAIA Division I competing against 10 players from NAIA Division II. Division I encompasses 101 institutions that offer up to the equivalent of 11 full athletics scholarships. There are 133 institutions that play Division II basketball that offer up to the equivalent of six full athletic scholarships. There was one Division of men's basketball from 1937 - 1991. NAIA has governed two Divisions since 1992.
The Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Contest will occur at 12:30 p.m. CST. Each contest will feature four contestants overall. The 3-Point competitors and Dunkers can come from either division and may or may not be part of the All-Star game. The Division II All-Star team will be announced on March 6 and the Division I All-Star team will be announced on March 11. The 3-Point and Dunk Contestants will be announced on March 11.
The NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Committee determined the selection criteria and will oversee the selection process. Criteria takes into account season statistics, awards and postseason experience. The Committee is comprised of coaches from both Division I and Division II ranks.
The game will be played as two, 20-minute halves. The head coaches of each team will be announced on Feb. 12.
“The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) is proud to team with the NAIA for the 2014 NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Game,” said NABC Executive Director Jim Haney. “This is an opportunity to further showcase the outstanding coaches and student-athletes in the NAIA and is another event to highlight the great history of college basketball in Kansas City.”
Fans will have an opportunity to vote for the fourth and final contestant in the Dunk Contest. Voting will open on Feb. 19 and will end Feb. 28. For more information and the voting process, click here.
Nominations for each of the three activities are open for submission by NAIA Head Coaches.
For more All-Star Event information, click here.
All-Star Event Schedule -- Saturday, March 22, 2014 (All Times CST)
10:30 a.m. -- Quarterfinal Game No. 1
12:30 p.m. -- NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball 3-Point and Slam Dunk Contest, presented by Rawlings
2 p.m. -- Quarterfinal Game No. 2
4 p.m. -- Quarterfinal Game No. 3
6 p.m. -- Quarterfinal Game No. 4
8 p.m. -- NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Game, presented by US Bank