Charlotte Smith (basketball)

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Charlotte Smith
Elon Phoenix
PositionHead coach
LeagueColonial Athletic Association
Personal information
Born (1973-08-23) August 23, 1973 (age 45)
Shelby, North Carolina
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight148 lb (67 kg)
Career information
High schoolShelby (Shelby, North Carolina)
CollegeNorth Carolina (1991–1995)
WNBA draft1999 / Round: 3 / Pick: 33rd overall
Selected by the Charlotte Sting
Playing career1996–2006
Coaching career2002–present
Career history
As player:
1996–1997Colorado Xplosion
1997–1998San Jose Lasers
1999–2004Charlotte Sting
2005Washington Mystics
2006Indiana Fever
As coach:
2002–2011North Carolina (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Charlotte Smith (born August 23, 1973)[1] is a retired American professional women's basketball player for the Charlotte Sting, Washington Mystics and Indiana Fever in the WNBA, and for the Colorado Xplosion and San Jose Lasers in the ABL. She is currently the women's basketball head coach at Elon University.

Playing career[edit]

After excelling as a basketball player at Shelby High School in Shelby, North Carolina, Smith played college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels. As a freshman, she was selected as women's basketball Rookie of the Year for the Atlantic Coast Conference. She was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship in 1994 when she hit the championship-winning shot for the Tar Heels at the buzzer. In the same game, Smith tied an NCAA Tournament record with 23 rebounds.[2] She was named National College Player of the Year by ESPN in 1995, was named a first-team collegiate All-American by Kodak/WBCA and the Associated Press, and is one of only two North Carolina women's basketball players to have had her jersey retired. She was named most valuable player of the ACC Tournament in her junior and senior years.She also became the second female college basketball player ever to dunk during a game on December 4, 1994. In 2002, Smith was named to the ACC's Fiftieth Anniversary Team.

After her collegiate eligibility ended in 1995, Smith joined a professional basketball club in Italy. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Italian league's All-Star game for the 1995–1996 season.

In 1996, Smith was selected by the Colorado Xplosion in the third round of the initial draft held by the newly formed ABL. She played one season with Colorado, then was traded to the San Jose Lasers. As a Laser, she was named to the ABL All-Star team for the 1997–1998 season.

Following the ABL's cessation of operations in 1999, Smith participated in the 1999 WNBA Draft, where the Charlotte Sting chose her with the 33rd overall pick. She played six seasons with the Sting. During offseasons, she interned with the Sting's front office, worked with US Sport Management, Inc., played a second winter season in Italy in 1999–2000, and served as an UNC women's basketball assistant coach for several seasons. Smith also earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from UNC in 1999.

Smith joined the WNBA's Washington Mystics for the 2005 season. She was briefly affiliated with the Indiana Fever at the start of the 2006 season.

North Carolina statistics[edit]


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
91-92 North Carolina 31 450 48.6% 10.0% 63.9% 8.1 0.7 1.1 0.4 14.5
92-93 North Carolina 30 446 45.6% 28.6% 61.1% 9.0 2.1 1.9 0.7 14.9
93-94 North Carolina 33 513 50.3% 28.1% 70.4% 9.2 2.2 1.4 0.6 15.5
94-95 North Carolina 35 685 53.3% 28.3% 65.2% 10.7 2.9 1.8 0.7 19.6
Career North Carolina 129 2094 49.7% 26.6% 65.2% 9.3 2.0 1.5 0.6 16.2

USA Basketball[edit]

Smith was named to the USA U18 team (then called the Junior World Championship Qualifying Team) in 1992. The team competed in Guanajuato, Mexico in August 1992. The team won their first four games, then lost 80–70 to Brazil, finishing with the silver medal for the event, but qualifying for the 1993 world games. Smith averaged 5.2 points per game during the event.[4]

Smith represented the US at the 1995 World University Games held in Fukuoka, Japan in August and September 1995. The team had a record of 5–1, securing the silver medal. The USA team won early and reached a record of 5–0 when the USA beat Yugoslavia. In the semi-final game, the USA faced Russia. The team was behind much of the first half but managed to tie the game at the half. The USA broke the game open in the second half and won 101–74, with Smith recording a double-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds along with seven assists. The gold medal match was against unbeaten Italy. The Italian team started strong, scoring 12 of the first 14 points of the contest. Sylvia Crawley scored eight consecutive points to end the first half, but that left the USA nine points behind. The USA took a small lead in the second half, but the team from Italy responded with a ten-point run, and won the game and the gold medal by a score of 73–65. Smith was the third leading scorer for the team with 13.7 points per game, and led the team in rebounds with 7.9 per game.[5]

Smith was invited to be a member of the Jones Cup team representing the US in 1996. She helped the team to a 9–0 record, and the gold medal in the event. Smith averaged 9.7 points per game, the highest scoring average on the team, and was named the All-Tournament MVP.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2002, Charlotte Smith joined the North Carolina Tar Heels women's basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach. Smith would help lead the Tar Heels to four straight number one seeds in the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship from 2005 to 2008. Her teams were ACC regular season champions in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and claimed the ACC Tournament title in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Smith was a part of two Final Four teams while on the North Carolina staff.

On June 22, 2011, Smith was named the head women's basketball coach at Elon University, becoming the sixth head coach in program history. In her first season leading the Phoenix, she set a new school record for wins by a first-year head coach. Charlotte Smith was named the 2017 CAA Coach of the Year and Elon won its first CAA Regular Season title and its first CAA Conference Tournament title in Division 1 History. Elon also earned its first bid in the NCAA tournament in school history.

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Elon Phoenix (Southern Conference) (2011–2014)
2011–12 Elon 16–14[7] 12–8[7] T-4th
2012–13 Elon 19-14 14-6 3rd WBI Quarterfinals
2013–14 Elon 15-16 10-8 T-4th
Elon (SOCON): 50-44 (.532) 36–22 (.621)
Elon Phoenix (Colonial Athletic Association) (2014–present)
2014–15 Elon 19-13 11-7 T-3rd WNIT First Round
2015–16 Elon 18-13 11-7 4th WNIT First Round
2016–17 Elon 27-7 16-2 1st NCAA First round
2017–18 Elon 25-8 14-4 3rd NCAA First round
2018-19 Elon 9-21 4-14 8th
Elon (CAA): 98–62 (.613) 56–34 (.622)
Total: 148–106 (.583)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "Championship records remembered". NCAA. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "North Carolina Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "Second Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team -- 1992". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "Seventeenth World University Games -- 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  6. ^ "1996 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Elon University - 2011-12 Women's Basketball Schedule". Elon Athletic Department. Retrieved June 10, 2012.