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College Basketball: Clemson's McKinney played on Yow's first N.C. State team

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.com
Cristy McKinney and Kay Yow arrived at N.C. State the same year.
McKinney cherished the chance to play for Yow and coach against her.
N.C. State hired Yow to lead the women’s basketball program in 1975, and this was her 34th season as the Wolfpack’s head coach. She died Saturday following a lengthy and inspirational battle with breast cancer.
McKinney, an East Rowan High School graduate who’s in her fourth season as the coach at ACC rival Clemson, was a freshman standout on the N.C. State squad that went 19-7 in Yow’s debut season.
“I was fortunate to be a member of Coach Yow’s first N.C. State team,” McKinney said in a statement. “That opportunity helped shape my career and my life. Coach Yow has been my coach, my mentor and my friend for 34 years. She was a remarkable, strong and passionate woman who was always there for the Wolfpack women family.”
McKinney, whose maiden name is Earnhardt, averaged a career-best 17.5 points per game during the 1975-76 season and was a junior on the first N.C. State team to claim an ACC regular season title. She scored 1,359 points and grabbed 613 rebounds in her career.
Clemson will hold a “Chow 4 Yow” fundraiser Feb. 16. The dinner is part of an ACC initiative to raise money for cancer awareness, and all proceeds will be donated to the Kay Yow Foundation.
“The success of this initiative means a lot to me personally,” McKinney said.

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