Hello SLAM Magazine fans! My name is Tina Charles and I am a forward/center for the New York Liberty. I will be checking in with you guys twice a month to share my journey throughout this WNBA season!
Over the WNBA offseason, I had a great experience this year playing overseas in Russia. Dynamo Moscow was one of the best teams in Europe this year. I got the opportunity to play with some great guards in Lindsay Whalen and Kristi Toliver. It’s not all the time you get to play with two All-Stars. I was able to learn a lot from them, as they are very dedicated to their game. While overseas I worked on my patience in regards to working on the offensive side of the floor. I also focused on being consistent each night on both sides of the floor.
You also may have heard that I was traded from Connecticut to the New York Liberty. It was extremely important to me to come back home and play in front of my family. It was a dream of theirs to see me play in NY. As a child, I would always go to Liberty and Knicks games with my family. To see them courtside during the home games while I play in the Garden means everything to me.
Last week we had our home opener against the Chicago Sky. I was very nervous before the start of the game. Cappie (Pondexter) pulled me aside and told me to play my game. I was focused on being a good teammate and not taking too many shots, but they welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to play my game. When they shouted my name in the starting lineup it was huge to me. I thought that moment would never happen.
It was a great turnout for the game as well. I matched up against last year’s Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne. She carries herself well off the court and is super active in the community. On the court she is cold blooded. Great shooter and is adding a post game. When it’s all said in done, Elena will go down as one of the best women’s basketball players ever.
Playing for Bill Laimbeer has been awesome. He is a former post player himself and is recognized for his style of play. Coach always talks about us having trust in each other. He has a lot of confidence in what I do and only adds on to my game to make me better.
I am extremely excited to become an active member in the NYC community off the court in our various Liberty programs. I have my own foundation as well which raises awareness about cardiac arrest. Hopey’s Heart was founded to prevent Sudden Cardiac arrest from claiming the lives of young student athletes. I think it is really important to invest in others.
Off the court, I have spending a lot of time watching Broadway shows. I go at least once a week. Last one I saw was All The Way on former president Lyndon Johnson. This week I look forward to catching Of Mice and Men as well.
Til next time,