RALEIGH, N.C. – Elon women’s basketball head coach and former University of North Carolina women’s basketball standout Charlotte Smith has been selected as one of 10 members of the 2015 class of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Other members of the class include Jeff Bostic, Joe Bostic, John Clougherty, Freddie Combs, Rick Hendrick, Gene Littles, Jerry McGee, Lenox Rawlings and Andrea Stinson.
“I am extremely honored to be selected to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame,” said Smith. “I love my state and am proud to be a North Carolinian. Our state is rich with tradition and legacy in the sport of basketball, which makes me so proud. I have so many people to thank because so many people have been instrumental in paving the way on my road to success. I could have never accomplished this on my own. I beam with pride to represent the great state of North Carolina. Thank you to everyone who continues to believe in me.”
The most decorated player in North Carolina history, Smith was a four-year letterwinner for the Tar Heels from 1992-95 and is one of only two UNC women’s basketball players to have had her jersey retired. The 6-0 forward, who wore No. 23, was named National Player of the Year by ESPN in 1995 following a career in which she scored 2,094 points (fifth all-time at UNC) and grabbed 1,200 rebounds (second all-time at UNC).
Smith is perhaps best known for her performance in the 1994 NCAA Championship game, when her buzzer-beating three-pointer gave UNC the national crown with a 60-59 win over Louisiana Tech. She also had a championship-record 23 rebounds in the game and was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
The ACC Rookie of the Year in 1992, Smith earned All-ACC and ACC Tournament MVP honors in her junior and senior seasons as the Tar Heels claimed back-to-back conference crowns. As a senior, she was named All-America by Kodak, the Associated Press and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In 2002, she was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team as one of the top players in conference history. She also was honored as the 10th-best female athlete in the history of the league. Early in her senior season, she became just the second collegiate women’s player to dunk in a game when she did so against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 4, 1994.
The Colorado Xplosion picked Smith in the third round (17th overall) of the initial American Basketball League draft in 1996. She spent two-and-a-half seasons in the league, playing for Colorado and the San Jose Lasers and earning All-Star honors. Smith was the 33rd pick in the 1999 WNBA draft by Charlotte and played six seasons for the Sting before moving to Washington in 2005 then to Indiana in 2006.
Smith is currently in her fourth season as the head coach of the Phoenix program and owns a 62-51 record in that span. Prior to the team’s move to the Colonial Athletic Association this year, she coached the maroon and gold to back-to-back Southern Conference Tournament semifinal appearances in 2013 and 2014 and took the team to its second postseason appearance of the Division I era in the 2013 Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
In her time at Elon, Smith has coached six all-conference players, including the 2014 SoCon Freshman of the Year, and six members of the All-SoCon Academic Team. One of Elon’s biggest victories in Smith’s tenure as head coach came on Jan. 7, 2013, when the Phoenix knocked off SoCon power Chattanooga in Alumni Gym, handing UTC its only conference loss of the season, and helping Elon to a win over all 10 league teams that season. Her 16-14 mark in her first season as head coach (2011-12) marked the most victories by a first-year head coach in program history.
As an assistant coach at UNC for nine seasons before arriving at Elon, Smith helped the Tar Heels to a 257-54 record, including a 100-30 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. UNC won four ACC titles during Smith’s tenure, making seven appearances in the top-25 national rankings. The Tar Heels made the NCAA Tournament all nine seasons during Smith’s time as an assistant, making two trips to the Final Four as well as six Sweet 16 and four Elite Eight appearances. From 2005-2008, North Carolina earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
A native of Shelby, N.C., she graduated from Shelby High School, where she earned all-state honors and was her team’s MVP all four years. Smith completed her UNC bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1999.
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 1963, celebrates excellence and extraordinary achievement in athletics. The Hall of Fame also commemorates and memorializes exceptional accomplishments in sports for the inspiration and enjoyment of all North Carolinians, especially the youth, through popular exhibits and educational displays.
The induction banquet and ceremony will take place on Friday, May 15, at the Raleigh Convention Center with a reception being held the previous night on Thursday, May 14. Ticket information for the banquet is available at ncsportshalloffame.org or by calling 919-845-3455.