« Women’s Basketball 2021-22

Elissa Cunane

NC State
Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology


Cunane is pursuing a degree in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology at NC State. She carries a 3.34 GPA and was named a 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-American.

In addition, Cunane has been named to the ACC Honor Roll every year, Dean’s List for two semesters, and is a two-time All-ACC Academic Team selection.


Cunane is the epitome of a team player and embodies what ‘Strength in the Pack’ means to NC State. She was coined “Big Smile” by ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli.

Cunane is a tough player but one that respects her opponents and displays the utmost amount of sportsmanship on the court. She received the Caulton Tudor Award in 2021, which recognizes the Triangle basketball player who is most cooperative with the media. Cunane attributes her joy for the game and her optimism in her life to her father, who has been in a wheelchair her entire life but continued to persevere.


Cunane has been extremely involved in the surrounding communities during her career. She volunteers at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and mentors/tutors middle school studies. In addition, Cunane is on the leadership group for Pack United, an initiative that fights for social justice and equity.


Cunane enters her fourth year with the Wolfpack as one of the most decorated players in program history. She has been a consensus All-American for the last two years in addition to earning first team all-conference honors as well. She has career averages of 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and a field-goal percentage of 54.4.

Cunane was named the 2021 ACC Tournament MVP after averaging 23.2 points and 9.0 rebounds to help lead the Pack to its second straight ACC tournament title. She is also a two-time finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award and John R. Wooden National Player of the Year Award.

Heading into this season, Cunane was selected as the preseason ACC Player of the Year.