Friday, November 9, 2001
Healthy Chambers Ready to Play
Courtney Chambers' first
two years at UNC have been
marred by a variety of
illnesses and injuries.
By Ben DeSantis
Courtney Chambers wears the
No. 20 as a tribute to her father,
William, who wore the same number
nearly 30 years ago when he ran up and
down the floor of Carmichael
A self-proclaimed “daddy’s girl,”
Chambers said choosing North Carolina
and becoming a part of the Tar Heel
family was an easy decision for her to
“He had a ball in my hands since I
started walking,” she said. “I’ve played
my whole life and wanted to come
down here and become a part of the tra-
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But now, fol
lowing in her
father’s footsteps is
the least of
forced to redshirt
her freshman year
and after suffering
and injuries last
season, the sopho-
had to redshirt her
first year because of
more from Asheville said she hopes to
stay healthy enough to play the entire
“Last year, it was so frustrating to see
games come down to the wire,”
Chambers said. “It wears on you men
tally, only being asked to cheer. My
entire attitude is that’s not going to hap-
pen this year."
After spending her summer regain
ing her health and working herself back
into playing shape, Chambers said said
she is 100-percent healthy and ready to
prove she belongs.
“I love playing basketball here; I love
playing in Carmichael,” she said. “To
me, the main motivating factor was that
I hate quitting.”
Although her career statistics
(1.7 points per game and one rebound
per game through 30 games) have yet to
impress, Chambers said she is looking
forward to getting back on the court and
helping the team achieve its goals of
winning the ACC and earning a berth
in the NCAA Tournament.
“1 want to be able to encourage," she
said. “However, I want to be on the
floor, making an impact.”
Chambers’ attitude stems from her
desire to repay her coaches and team
mates for the support they have shown
her during the past two years.
“My teammates have been really
supportive,” she said. “They were
always checking in, always concerned.
“When I was in the hospital for a day
or two last year, the coaches came by
and several team members dropped in
to let me know they were thinking
But Chambers’ greatest supporter is
still her father, who she said
e-mails her inspirational messages daily
to keep her motivated.
“Life’s like riding a bike - you just
have to keep on pedaling,” she recalled
from one of the messages. “The hard
times when you’re challenged make
you stronger. You always get better.”
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Sutton Continues Steady
Improvements in Middle
Sophomore Candace Sutton
attend a post player camp
this summer that heavily
concentrated on footwork.
By Will Small
Like many of her fellow college stu
dents, Candace Sutton worked over the
But not many of Sutton’s fellow stu
dents worked to become one of the elite
centers in the ACC.
The North Carolina center spent the
summer lifting weights and attending
and teaching at basketball camps to
improve her skills.
She worked as a counselor at a
Michael Jordan camp, and she attended
a Pete Newell’s Premier Post Player
Camp at the University of California-
Monterey Bay. She is already beginning
to see the fruits of her labor.
“I’ve noticed a big difference (in my
play),” Sutton said.
Newell’s camp stressed skills such as
footwork and low-post moves.
But it was her work at another camp
that stands out in Sutton’s mind.
Asa camp counselor at Michael
Jordan’s basketball camp in Chapel Hill
this summer, Sutton and sophomore
teammate Carrie Davis got to meet
j, . Jjjl
“I had a lot of
fun, and you get to
meet a lot of new
people from other
colleges that were
Sutton said. “Of
course we got to
meet Michael, and
that was a lot of
fun. It was amaz
of the counselors
worked up the
courage to ask if
averaged 9.8 points
and 5.6 rebounds for
the Tar Heels
Jordan was returning to the NBA, they
never received an answer.
UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said she
thinks Sutton made the right decision
by forgoing a chance to play on a
national team to instead spend her
summer working on aspects of her
“Candace knew what she had to do
to get better, and she gave up USA bas
ketball to do it,” Hatchell said. “She’s
going to be much stronger, and confi
dence-wise, she’s going to be hard to
Her experiences during the summer
might indeed help Sutton achieve her
goal of becoming a premier ACC cen
The 6-foot-6 sophomore was one of
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the league’s young stars last season, but
she still missed her goal of being named
ACC Rookie of the Year.
Instead, Sutton was a member of the
conference’s All-Freshman Team, aver
aging 9.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per
As one of only two returning starters
from last year’s team, Sutton is already
going to be called on to be a leader on
the floor for the Tar Heels, although she
is only in her second year at UNC.
“I’m a leader on this team,” Sutton
said. “I know (the coaches) are lodking
for me to have a specific role, and
they’re looking for me to carry out that
However, Sutton isn’t worried that
the team’s success will be totally depen
dent on her.
“I think the people backing me up are
great players,” Sutton said. “I think we
won’t be missing anything if I leave the
Although she doesn’t feel that pres
sure, she is still confident that her play
can be stellar this season. One of her
goals this season is to make first team
It remains to be seen if her other
goals, winning an ACC championship
and making it to the Final Four, can be
If she achieves those lofty goals, then
Sutton will truly know if her summer of
hard work was worth it.
Sophomore center Carrie
Davis said she doesn't mind
being a practice player,
as long as she is helping.
¥y Aaron Fin
North Carolina backup center Carrie
Davis never wanted to play basketball
in the first place.
Now all she wants is a chance to be
on the court.
The 6-foot-4 sophomore started play
ing basketball at her parents’ urging
when she was in fifth grade. The game
took some time to grow on her, but she
excelled during high school, earning all
region and all-district honors each of
her four seasons at Brentwood High in
“At first I was like, ‘I don’t want to
play basketball,’” she said. “As soon as I
started playing AAU, basketball was all
I ever wanted to do."
When she was in sixth grade, Davis
decided that she wanted to play for the
Tar Heels. She says it was UNC’s 1993
men’s national championship team that
inspired her to make this decision.
But now that she’s here in Chapel
Hill, Davis has to deal with the struggle
for playing time that accompanies top
Davis averaged 14 points, eight
rebounds and 3.5 blocks as a high
school senior. She plays big and has the
potential to make a significant contri
bution on the UNC interior.
That is, if she can get some playing
Davis appeared in only eight games
last season, scoring one point and grab
bing six rebounds. Her primary contri
bution came during practice, when she
competed with sophomore center
“I want to get to play, and I want to
make my teammates better,” she said. “I
want to help Candace get as far as she
can. I really want to help my team
mates. If I have to do that by being a
practice player, then I’ll do it, but I real
ly want to play.”
Davis knows she has to work very
hard to achieve this goal. She said she
focused on improving her conditioning
during the offseason.
“I ran. I ran a lot And I lifted weights
when I got home,” Davis said.
But her hard work might not neces
sarily result in more playing time.
UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said
6-3 freshman Jenni Laaksonen is the
second best post player on the team
behind Sutton. So Davis might still be
third on the depth chart.
As much as Davis wants time on the
court, she realizes there is life after
“I would really love to play ball over
seas, to see the world,” Davis said. “I
would like to do that for a few years and
then just be normal. I want to get mar
ried and have kids. And I would like to
have a normal job, live a normal life
and not play basketball.”