Former Wolfpack Stars Square Off In WNBA Playoff Series
Aug. 16, 2001
Andrea Stinson and Chasity Melvin share a special bond. Like others who have played basketball for Kay Yow at NC State, the two WNBA All-Stars are proud of their school and the Hall of Fame coach who taught them so much about the game of life and the game they love.
But for the next several days, the Wolfpack loyalties Stinson and Melvin share will be placed on the backburner. For now, Stinson must stay loyal to her professional family, the Charlotte Sting, and likewise Melvin to the Cleveland Rockers.
The only thing that matters now is doing whatever it takes to survive and advance in the postseason. Both the Sting and Rockers will be trying to move a step closer to that goal when they meet tonight in the first game of their three-game WNBA playoff series at the Charlotte Coliseum.
Led by Stinson's all-around excellence, Charlotte made a recovery this season that would have drawn a standing ovation from Lazarus. Pronounced dead following a 1-10 start, the Sting secured a playoff spot by going 17-4 down the stretch. Stinson, who was named the league's player of the week last week, averaged 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. She was also among the league leaders in steals with 43.
Following a hot start, Melvin was slowed by an eye injury that forced her to miss the WNBA All-Star game. Lately, however, the 6-3 center has regained the form that has made her one of the league's best pivot players. For the season, Melvin averaged 9.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
At times during this series, Melvin could be matched against another former NC State player. Summer Erb, who was the ACC's player of the year in 1999, is available to come off the bench for Charlotte.
Packs fans may also want to keep an eye on the Western Conference series between Los Angeles and Houston. NC State alum Rhonda Mapp averages 13.2 minutes of playing time for the Sparks while Tynesha Lewis is in her rookie campaign with the Comets.