Tina Charles
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

New York Liberty star Tina Charles was named to the final World Cup roster, as the Americans seek their third consecutive gold.

Tina Charles will officially represent her country at the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, Spain, as one of a dozen WNBA stars chosen to represent the United States.

It will be the third World Cup experience for the New York Liberty star, as the American women seek an unprecedented third consecutive title. In the previous victory, held in 2014 in Turkey, Charles averaged 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over six games. Notably, Charles paced the team with 18 points and nine rebounds in the medal round semifinal victory in Istanbul, an 82-70 win over Australia.

In the ensuing championship game, Charles again scored in double figures, scoring 10 points, while adding a team-high eight rebounds in the 77-64 win that allowed Team USA to capture the gold.


Liberty head coach and two-time World Cup gold medalist Katie Smith was part of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee, serving as the athlete representative. USA Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan headed the committee, which also featured Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller, Los Angeles Sparks general manager Penny Toler, and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma.

Other NYC Teams

Auriemma, Charles’ coach in college, coached the team in their previous two World Cup trips, as well as their likewise victorious trips to the Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016, but the position is now filled by University of South Carolina head coach and former WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley.

“I feel real good about this team and what it can do to help us defend gold at the World Cup,” Staley said in a team statement released by the Liberty. “I feel that we got the best 12 to represent us, although it was extremely hard getting down to that number. But, that’s what it’s all about, having a great pool of players to get down to 12. We could have easily brought 15 players, but the roster has to be cut down to 12.”

Team USA has spent the past few weeks engaging in exhibitions in preparation for the World Cup, the latest coming this week in Antibes, France. Though Charles was a favorite to make the roster as is, she nonetheless impressed in the final exhibition on Monday, tallying a double-double to the tune of 14 points and 12 rebound in a 77-60 victory over the French.

Born in Jamaica, Queens, Charles is one of three New York natives on the national team, as Seattle Storm teammates Breanna Stewart (Syracuse) and Sue Bird (Syosset) were late additions, fresh off winning the 2018 WNBA Finals.

Partaking in Group D play, the Americans will open up the tournament against Senegal on Saturday (1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN+). Check below for the full American roster and schedule.

Roster

#PlayerPositionCollegeCurrent Team
4Jewell LoydGuardNotre DameSeattle Storm
5Kelsey PlumGuardWashingtonLas Vegas Aces
6Sue BirdGuardConnecticutSeattle Storm
7Layshia ClarendonGuardCaliforniaConnecticut Sun
8Morgan TuckForwardConnecticutConnecticut Sun
9A’ja WilsonForwardSouth CarolinaLas Vegas Aces
10Breanna StewartForwardConnecticutSeattle Storm
11Elena Delle DonneForward/GuardDelawareWashington Mystics
12Diana TaurasiGuardConnecticutPhoenix Mercury
13Nneka OgwumikeForwardStanfordLos Angeles Sparks
14Tina CharlesCenterConnecticutNew York Liberty
15Brittney GrinerCenterBaylorPhoenix Mercury

Schedule

DateOpponentTime (ET)TV
9/22Senegal1:00 p.m.ESPN+
9/23China1:00 p.m.ESPN+
9/25Latvia1:00 p.m.ESPN+
9/28TBD (Quarterfinals)TBDTBD
9/29TBD (Semifinals)TBDTBD
9/30TBD (Medal Round)3:00 p.m.ESPN

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