Tina Charles: "I'm Just a City Kid"
New York Liberty’s newest member Tina Charles did not make her trading decision lightly. Read below for Tina’s mindset on leaving the Connecticut Sun, joining the Liberty, and her history with New York City.
Obviously, you grew up in New York and made a name for yourself in high school playing basketball. But what does playing for the New York Liberty mean to you?
It's a blessing. It's a dream come true. I was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens. Where I'm from, people don't always get what they want. This was always the dream. My mom always took me to Liberty games growing up, my AAU team played during halftime of their games, I was a part of their ball ceremony when the starting five was called out.
The fact that I'll be able to say when I'm retired, God willing, that I was able to play at the Garden as a part of the New York Liberty is just a blessing.
When you were in Connecticut, you were already commuting 2-3 hours every moment you could to be with friends and family back in New York. What do you think it will be like to have them there at your games more often now?
It's really great. My mom and dad are the biggest Liberty and New York Knicks fans. For them to be there courtside and to see me live, every time. My mom works in the Empire State Building so it's just a short walk for her to see me at the Garden. It's a great thing not only just for me, but for my family and close friends.
It came as a surprise to many people when the news broke about you requesting a trade to New York. For the fans, can you explain your thought process as to what led to your decision?
When it came down to it, I had a great experience in Connecticut. From my UConn days, UConn fans are the same fans that come out to Mohegan, they supported me and my other teammates very well. It was a great atmosphere. Mohegan Sun is a very close knit arena and you just always felt them there.
But the bigger picture was, I had an opportunity to play in New York, where I grew up. To play alongside Cappie Pondexter and Essence Carson, as well as play for Bill Laimbeer, I just saw the idea of winning a championship. I just looked at the bigger picture. A lot of times you're going to have people stay in the moment, and that was my moment right then there. It was to go to the Liberty and I'm really happy with the decision I made.