‘Huge Smile’ Elissa Cunane Has Been Dominating School Basketball


EDITOR’S NOTE: This function was written weeks earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic led to the suspension of the NCAA season.

When Elissa Cunane scores, she smiles. When she grabs a rebound, she grins. When she blocks a shot, she beams. The 6-5 sophomore heart for NC State performs with a lot uncontainable pleasure that TV analyst Debbie Antonelli dubbed her, “Huge Smile.”

“I simply attempt to have enjoyable with all the things and it simply reveals by means of,” Cunane says. “The staff and coaches simply really feel like household. I actually really feel comfy round them.”

The remainder of the ACC has turn out to be all too accustomed to Cunane’s expressions and exploits. She averaged 16.5 factors and 10.1 rebounds per recreation whereas taking pictures 55.2 p.c from the ground this season, rating within the high six of every stat within the ACC. No person else within the convention averaged a double-double. She was named ACC Participant of the Week on two events, turning into the primary Wolfpack participant to take action for the reason that 2010-11 marketing campaign.


Cunane has additionally stretched her recreation, flattening 41.2 p.c of her three-point pictures this 12 months.

“I feel, one participant that I actually attempt to mannequin my recreation after is Elena Delle Donne,” Cunane says. “Simply because she has that inside presence however can come out on the perimeter.”

A local of Summerfield, NC, who grew up watching UNC’s Erlana Larkins within the ACC event, Cunane picked the Wolfpack over the UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils due to the relationships she constructed with NC State. For the subsequent few seasons, she’ll preserve reminding the remainder of the ACC what they missed out on.

“The teaching employees for NC State is what actually stood out to me of the Triangle faculties,” Cunane says. “Reynolds Coliseum is completely lovely, and I simply really feel like they’d my finest pursuits.”

Mitchell Northam is a contributor to SLAM. Comply with him on Twitter.

Photograph by way of NC State.

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