Named 1st Team All-WNBA. League scoring AND rebounding title. Olympic Gold. It was quite a 2016 for Liberty star forward Tina Charles.
It’s difficult to summarize concisely all of the incredible accomplishments Charles enjoyed last year, her 3rd with the Liberty, and unquestionably her top campaign as a pro, surpassing her being named Rookie of the Year in 2010, and MVP season in 2012. Charles was dominant in a way that has rarely been seen in the WNBA.
She became the 3rd player in history to lead the WNBA in scoring (21.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg) in the same season, swept the Eastern Conference Player of the Month Awards, and was named Player of the Week 7 times, a new single-season record.
Despite her finishing second in the MVP voting, no one player meant more to their team in Charles, whose intensity every game, and consistency on both ends of the floor, steered the Liberty to a 2nd-straight 20-win season and the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
She put up some ridiculous stat lines as she expanded her game while averaging career highs in points and assists. Her 29 points, 10 rebounds, 7 steals, and 6 assists against Atlanta in May was just the 3rd-time ever a player posted those tallies in a game, and she narrowly missed out on a triple-double against the Dream in June, finishing with 23 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds in a double-overtime win. At one point, she scored at least 21 points in 9-straight games, the 4th longest streak in league history.
But as impactful as Charles was on the court, her off the court accomplishments carried additional significance. After winning the State Farm Community Assist Award for the month of May, coming off a pair of sports safety clinics for her Hopey’s Heart Foundation Hopey’s Day, she was named one of four finalists for the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award, receiving a $25,000 grant for her foundation. After the season was over, Charles was honored with the American Red Cross New York Region Vanguard Award at the organization’s annual Heroes Among Us Gala at the American Museum on Natural History.
May 24 vs. Atlanta
Put up one of the most impressive single-game stat lines in league history, posting 29 points with 10 rebounds, 7 steals, and 6 assists, just the 3rd time in WNBA history
June 19 at Connecticut
Tied her career-high with 32 points, shooting 13-of-25 from the field and knocking down a pair of 3-pointers
June 22 @ Atlanta
Finished 1 rebound shy of what would have been the 1st triple-double in franchise history, finishing with 23 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds at Atlanta
CHARLES IN RAREFIED AIR
- Charles became just the 3rd player in WNBA history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding with 21.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
- Only Chamique Holdsclaw (2002) and Lauren Jackson (2007) have accomplished that feat previously, so Charles was the first to do so in nearly a decade.
- The only NBA players to lead the league in scoring and rebounding were Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit, and Neil Johnston.
- The Liberty had never had a player lead the league in scoring or rebounding; Charles accomplished both in the same year.
- Charles’ 21.5 ppg average is a new single-season franchise record, eclipsing Cappie Pondexter’s 21.4 ppg during the 2010 season.
- Charles had never led the league in scoring, but she has previously led the WNBA in rebounding on three occasions, from 2010-12, which includes her Rookie of the Year (2010) and Most Valuable Player (2012) seasons.
THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Tina Charles posted 20 double-doubles this season. With 22 points and 11 rebounds against Washington on Sept. 13, Charles recorded the 129th double-double of her career, second all-time in league history, and she has posted a double-double in 56.1 percent of her games played as a pro. Her career 10.1 rebounds per game are first all time, while her career scoring average of 17.8 ppg is 8th.
TINA CHARLES MAKES HISTORY WITH 4,000TH-CAREER POINT
Tina Charles finished with 23 points in the Liberty’s win over Phoenix on Sept. 3, and in doing so became the 29th player in WNBA history to surpass 4,000-career points. Charles was the 6th-fastest in the history of the WNBA to reach the 4K threshold, doing so in just 226-career games, and she became the 3rd youngest, at 27 years old and 273 days. Only Lauren Jackson and Diana Taurasi were younger when they passed 4,000 points.
DROPPING DIMES, DROPPING DIMES
Tina Charles is known as a great scorer and rebounder, but in 2016 she was also one of New York’s best distributors of the basketball. Charles recorded at least three assists in 25-of-32 games, and posted four games with at least six dimes. She led New York this season, averaging 3.8 assists per game, which ranked 13th in the league.
GOLD STANDARD X2
Tina Charles helped lead the U.S. Women’s Basketball National Team to its 6th-consecutive gold medal victory at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. Charles, who started all 8 games at forward for the United States during the Olympic Tournament, was a gold medal winner for the 2nd time in her career; she was a member of the USAB Women’s National Team for its gold medal win in London in 2012. While the Liberty has had U.S. gold medal winners on its roster in the past, Charles became the franchise’s first active member to represent the United States in the Olympics.
CHARLES SEES ONE OF THE BEST 20-POINT STREAKS IN LEAGUE HISTORY COME TO AN END
Tina Charles saw her streak of nine-consecutive games scoring at least 20 points come to an end when she netted just 18 in a victory over Seattle on July 6. From June 11 through July 3, Charles scored at least 21 points in every game she played, a stretch that matched the fourth-longest such streak in WNBA history, and also had a pair of 30 point performances during that period, averaging 26.1 ppg overall. The record for consecutive 20 point games is 13, held by Diana Taurasi (2006-07).
TINA CHARLES WINS MAY WNBA CARES COMMUNITY ASSIST AWARD PRESENTED BY STATE FARM
Tina Charles won the May WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm. Throughout the month of May, expanding on her extraordinary work to improve the health and safety of children and families across the country, Charles and the Hopey’s Heart Foundation (HHF) launched the “Build -Up NYC” Program. With support from the New York City Council, the program is designed to assist with AED placement and CPR training throughout the five boroughs. Charles also became the first player in league history to win the Community Assist and Player of the Month Awards for the same month of competition.