- Category: Biography
Tina Charles (born December 5, 1988) is an American women's basketball player with the Galatasaray Medical Park of the TWBL. Originally from Jamaica, New York, Charles was drafted 1st overall in the 2010 WNBA Draft. In 2009 and 2010, she and teammate Maya Moore led the Connecticut Huskies to two undefeated national championships.
Charles played basketball at Christ the King High School in Middle Village, New York. After averaging 26.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 5.2 blocked shots per game her senior year, she was named WBCA National Player of the Year, “Miss Basketball” for New York state, and was selected as a McDonald’s All-American and tabbed New York City Player of the Year by Newsday, the Daily News and the New York Post. Charles was the leading scorer on the Christ the King team that won 57 consecutive games, leading to a USA Today #1 ranking in the country after an undefeated season in 2006. Charles was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2006 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored fifteen points and had twelve rebounds. Charles was named the MVP of the Red team. During high school, Charles also played on the AAU club basketball team the New York Gazelles.
In 2009, Charles led the UConn Huskies to a national title as a junior. She was named Final Four MOP and one of the 10 players on the State Farm All-America team during Final Four weekend. Charles made a comment to ESPN during a post-championship interview, in regards to the tradition of sports champions who visit the White House after their title game victories. She said, "Barack Obama, we will be here soon!" and after the 2010 championship she made a comment, "President Barack Obama, we're back!"
On February 13, 2010, before the game vs. St. John's, Charles became the 12th UConn Women's basketball player to be recognized in the Huskies of Honor and was the 2nd player to be honored while still a player. The first was Renee Montgomery the year before.
On March 1, 2010, during a game against Notre Dame, Charles broke two UConn records on the same night. Her fifth rebound made her the all-time leading rebounder at UConn, surpassing Rebecca Lobo's fifteen year-old record of 1268. Lobo was present working as a commentator for ESPN, and interviewed Charles after the game. Additionally, Charles started the night in third place in career scoring, behind Kerry Bascom and Nykesha Sales. Sales had scored 2,178 points and Bascom 2,177 in their careers. During the game, Charles surpassed both to become the leading scorer in UConn history. Charles was named the Big East Conference Player of the Year for 2010.
Charles majored in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. She anticipates working in corrections at the close of her basketball career. In 2010, she was spending six hours a week as an intern at Bergin Correctional Institution, helping prisoners adjust back to life in society.
2010 WNBA Season
Charles was the overall #1 pick in the 2010 WNBA draft, selected by the Connecticut Sun.
Charles was named the Unanimous choice for WNBA Rookie of the Year.
In her first season, she set all-time league records for rebounds, with 398, and double-double with 22. (both scoring and rebounds in double digits).
Completed one of the best rookie seasons in WNBA history by recording her league-record 22nd double-double at New York (8/22)
Established a league record with 398 rebounds
Led the Sun in scoring (15.5 ppg.), rebounds (11.7 rpg.) and blocks (1.68 per game)
Had 23 games with at least 10 rebounds
Had six consecutive double-doubles from 6/18-6/29, one short of the WNBA record
Recorded a WNBA rookie record 23 rebounds against Phoenix (6/25), the second highest single-game total in league history
Surpassed the previous single-game franchise rebound record (17) four times
Had 20 or more rebounds in three games
Established new franchise records for defensive (269) and offensive (129) rebounds
Scored a career-high 27 points at Atlanta (7/7)
Tied a franchise record with 13 made field goals at Los Angeles (6/18)
Had eight blocks against Washington (8/8), one short of the team record
Finished with a single-season total of 57 blocks, the fifth highest total in team history
Started all 34 games for the Sun.
2011 WNBA Season
A leading contender for WNBA MVP
Broke her own WNBA record for double-doubles, finishing with 23
Led the league in total rebounds (374) and rebound average (11.0)
Rebound total was the second highest in WNBA history, behind the 398 she collected in 2010
Set new franchise records for made field goals (254), field goal attempts (543), points (600) and scoring average (17.6)
Set a franchise record with eight games of 10 or more made field goals
Led the Sun in scoring and rebounding for the second straight year
Named WNBA Player of the Week four times
Earned second WNBA All-Star selection
Had 12 games with at least 20 points
Became the fastest player in WNBA history to record 400, 500, 600 and 700 career rebounds
Scored a career-high 31 points against Chicago (6/19)
Tied her career high with 13 made field goals against Chicago (6/19)
Became just the second player in league history to record more than one 20-20 game, finishing with 23 rebounds and 22 points against Los Angeles (6/28)
The 23 rebounds tied her single-game franchise record
Also tied a WNBA record with 16 second-half rebounds against LA (6/28)
Led the Sun in rebounding 25 times, including 18 of 19 games in one stretch
Shared the team-high for rebounds once
Led the Sun in scoring 19 times including six of the last seven games of the season
Started all 34 games
Played 1,136 minutes, second most in franchise history.
In The Playoffs: Recorded a double-double with 13 points and a post-season franchise-record 17 rebounds in Game 2 at Atlanta (9/18)
Averaged 12.5 points and 12 rebounds in the two-game series with Atlanta…Averaged a team-high 36 minutes.
2012 WNBA Season
Named to the All WNBA Defensive 2nd Team
Won the WNBA MVP Award
Other Professional Experience:
Played for Galatasarray of Turkey in FIBA Euroleague
Spent the 2010-11 offseason with Nadezhda Orenburg in Russia
Named a EuroLeague “Rest of the World” All-Star
Averaged 19.1 points and 9.5 rebounds in 16 Russian League games and 19.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in 12 EuroLeague games.
Charles was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009, one of only three college players invited to the training camp. The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants.
On October 5, 2009, Charles was selected to be one of the USA National Team members to travel to the 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational. She was the only college player on the team. Charles contributed to the USA Basketball win at the Ekaterinburg Tournament. She had double-digit scoring in all three games, with the second game, against Euroleasing Sopron, her best result, scoring 15 points in only 13 minutes of play.
Charles was named the USA Basketball 2009 Female Athlete Of The Year, for her contributions to the Gold Medal earned at the 2009 USA Women's World University Games, the Gold Medal earned at the 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational, and the undefeated collegiate season leading to a National Championship.
Charles was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball. This game replaces the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.
In 2012, Tina and the USA National Team captured its unprecedented fifth-straight Olympic gold (dating back to 1996), a feat never before accomplished in any women’s traditional team sport, the USA women have compiled a 41-game Olympic winning streak that began with the 1992 bronze medal game.
Awards and honors
2006 USA Today National Player of the Year
2006 McDonald's National Player of the Year
2006 Parade Magazine National Player of the Year
2006 Gatorade National Player of the Year
2006 WBCA National Player of the Year
2006 EA Sports National Player of the Year
2006 Miss New York Basketball
2009 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year
2010 All-BIG EAST First Team (unanimous)
2010 Big East Player of the Year
2010 AP All-America First Team
2010 U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Player of the Year.
2010 State Farm Coaches' All-America Team
2010 #1 selection in 2010 WNBA draft
2010 John R. Wooden Award winner
2010 WNBA Rookie of the Year
2010 All-WNBA Second Team
2011 WNBA All-Star
2011 All WNBA Team
2012 Olympic Gold Medalist
2012 WNBA MVP
2012 All WNBA Defensive 2nd Team