Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whatever Happened to Christy Smith?

If you hang on to John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating (PER) the way a drunk hangs on to a lamp post - "for support, not illumination", Christy Smith of the Charlotte Sting in 1999 had the best season in the WNBA that year with a PER rating of 36.08, a good 4.16 points above eventual MVP Yolanda Griffith.

Christy Smith played a grand total of 19 minutes over four games in 1999. She took four field goal attempts - three from 3-point land - and hit three of them. She also went 5-for-6 from the free throw line, and had one assist and one steal. Not bad at all.

So what happened? Hard to say. I found note of an article on Google News that she was put on the injured list by the Sting in 1999. She had had an ACL injury at Arkansas in 1996; maybe it was exacerbated by WNBA play. Apparently, she never recovered from the injury. She went back to Arkansas and earned her master's degree in exercise science in 2001. Somewhere along the line, she became Christy Smith Flowers, the wife of Arkansas Razorback defensive back Jeremy Flowers. She had two children.

I assume she did what a lot of ex-WNBA players do after that - go into coaching. She was an assistant high school coach in 2006-07, a head high school coach in 2007-08, and in August 2008, joined the Valparaiso University women's basketball staff as an assistant coach.

The Crusaders are 5-5 this year. If you see Christy Smith Flowers on the sidelines, be sure to say "Hello" for me.

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