Former UNC and WNBA Standout to Speak at Gardner-Webb on Sept. 17

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Shelby Native Charlotte Smith to Speak at Dimensions

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Dimensions program at Gardner-Webb University is pleased to announce Charlotte Smith, former WNBA player and current head women’s basketball coach at Elon University in Elon, N.C., as a distinguished speaker. The Shelby, N.C., native will share her story and exciting message with students on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 9:25 a.m. in the Paul Porter Arena, located inside the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center (LYCC).

Smith, the most decorated player in the history of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.) women’s basketball program, has always been known for her abilities on the court. While finishing her collegiate career as an All-American and playing eight seasons in the WNBA are impressive achievements, she has found another way to share her talents with others.  Smith recently published a devotional, When Coaches Pray: A Guide for Every Minute for the Game of Life, which is geared towards those in her profession who are trying to keep the ups and downs of daily life in perspective. Personally understanding the struggles of players, coaches and people in general, Smith shares inspirational stories that will help coaches grow in their walk with Christ and also give them material to help their team grow as well.

“Charlotte Smith has experienced a tremendous amount of success as a basketball player, both collegiately and professionally,” said Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University. “But what is even more noteworthy to me is her genuine desire to have a positive impact on her student-athletes and her community for the cause of Christ.”

While coaches of any sport benefit from the book, it is based on the game that Smith loves and has become her life’s work.  The game of basketball, which is divided into two 20-minute halves, offers more than just a foundation for the devotional. Smith incorporated the game’s framework into the organizational structure of the text with two sections each containing 20 stories regarding faith, emotion and the responsibilities a coach has to their team. There is even a recap in between the sections that could be considered “halftime.”

Smith credits legendary UNC women’s head coach Sylvia Hatchell, who supported Bible studies amongst her players, as her role model for a coach who honored Christ with her profession. Now in her third year as the head coach at Elon, Smith hopes to do the same for others especially through this devotional. The book is available for purchase at all major bookstores and at For more information on Smith, visit

Gardner-Webb University’s Dimensions programs are free and open to the public. The goal of Dimensions is to enhance the spiritual, intellectual and cultural life at the University and also to promote a sense of community. Dimensions programs are held on Tuesday at 9:25 a.m. in the LYCC. More information is available by calling 704-406-4277.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.