COLUMBIA, SC – September 4, 2018 – The 2018 USA Basketball Women’s World Cup Team training camp tipped-off yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina, with 18 athletes including New York Liberty forward, two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist Tina Charles, eager to lead a group ready to earn a ticket to play for the USA at the FIBA World Cup later this month in Tenerife, Spain.
But, before USA and South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley could start blowing whistles and running her team through drills, everyone had head shots and a group photo taken. Three-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist Katie Smith, part of the committee tasked with team selection, was also in attendance.
Before everyone spread out to begin warm-ups, USA Women’s National Team director Carol Callan spent a few minutes thanking the athletes for their time and commitment to USA Basketball. Then, she called out Smith and pointed out that her first USA Basketball team was in 1993. Next was Staley, who first donned a USA uniform in 1989, and carried the U.S. flag into the 2004 Olympic opening ceremony.
But the third ‘shout-out’ surprised even Charles, who on Sept. 6 is slated to receive the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Mannie Jackson – Human Spirit Award for her off-court efforts in her community and through Hopey’s Heart Foundation.
“I was very taken back by Miss Carol,” said Charles. “Miss Carol and I have always had a great relationship. She’s known me since I was 15, so she’s seen me when I was in my younger days. She sees me now when I’m older, and it’s really great that she recognizes things that I do off the court and what really means the most to me in trying to maximize the platform that I’m on to try and inspire others.”
Tina Charles’ USA Basketball Experience
Charles was tabbed a 2009 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. She won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cups, 2009 World University Games, 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. She took home the Bronze Medal at the 2005 Youth Development Festival. Internationally, she earned gold at the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational (gold). She was a part of the 2017-20 USA National Team that participated in the winter 2018 USA camp in Columbia, South Carolina. Charles accepted an invitation to participate in the 2017 USA Women’s National Team training camp Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Santa Barbara, California, but was unable to attend the camp due to injury.
After playing for three USA junior teams from 2005-09, was invited to attend the USA National Team’s 2009 fall training camp and was later named to the 2010-12 USA National Team, one of just two collegiate athletes on the roster at the time. Since then, has captured a pair of FIBA World Championship gold medals and two Olympic gold medals. Charles helped the USA post a 19-2 record in exhibition games from 2009-16. She averaged a tournament fifth-best 7.4 rpg. in the 2012 Olympics.
Charles was the USA’s third-leading scorer (10.7 ppg.) and second-best rebounder (4.8 rpg.) at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, while playing just 16.4 minutes a game. She was a member of the 2009 USA Women’s World University Games Team that posted a 7-0 record and earned the gold medal in Belgrade, Serbia as well as a member of the 2006 U18 National Team that went 4-0 to win the gold medal; set a USA U18 all-time record for rebounding (9.5 rpg.).
She was also a member of the 2005 Youth Development Festival Red Team that finished 3-2 and earned the bronze medal.
USA Basketball Women’s National Team
Members of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will compete in the 2018 FIBA World Cup and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24-Aug. 9 in Tokyo), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
The U.S. and Staley first will look to capture the title at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball, with an automatic berth to the 2020 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in 2018, it would have two additional opportunities to qualify for the Olympics: the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup (dates and site TBD) and the 2020 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
FIBA World Cup of Basketball
Winners of back-to-back World Cup titles and four of the past five FIBA World Cups, the USA owns a record nine gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Cup play, while compiling an all-time 103-21 record at the event. In 2014, the most recent World Cup, the U.S. took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Australia won bronze.
The USA will compete in preliminary round Group D and will play Senegal on Sept. 22, China on Sept. 23 and Latvia on Sept. 25.
Group A includes Canada, France, Greece and South Korea; Group B is comprised of Argentina, Australia, Nigeria and Turkey; while Group C features Belgium, Japan, Puerto Rico and Spain.
Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded, and the top team from each group will earn an automatic berth to the quarterfinals, while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams from each group will advance to the Sept. 26 quarterfinals play-in round. From there, winners will compete in the Sept. 28-30 medal round.
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA national teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored five-on-five and 3×3 international competitions, as well as for some national competitions and for the development of youth basketball.
The USA Basketball Youth Development division is tasked with the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety, while promoting, growing, and elevating the game. USA Basketball is committed to providing youth throughout the country safe, fun and developmentally appropriate environments in which they can enjoy the game. Current USA Basketball youth initiatives include coach licensing and education; organization accreditation; coach academies; regional camps; youth clinics; open court programs; Women in the Game conferences; and the U.S. Open Basketball Championships.
Connect with USA Basketball at USAB.com and on Facebook (USABasketball and USABYouth), Twitter (@usabasketball, @USABYouth, @USAB3x3), Instagram (@USABasketball) and YouTube (therealusabasketball).