Tina Charles visits UConn Huskies women’s basketball practice

5:19 PM ET

Alexa PhilippouESPN

CloseCovers women’s college basketball and the WNBA
Previously covered UConn and the WNBA Connecticut Sun for the Hartford Courant
Stanford graduate and Baltimore native with further experience at the Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times and Cincinnati Enquirer

STORRS, Conn. — Considering the wealth of UConn Huskies alumni who have become legends at the pro level, you never know who’s going to drop by a women’s basketball practice.

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This week, it was 2012 WNBA MVP and three-time Olympic gold medalist Tina Charles who stopped by to practice with the team, even playing some one-on-one with starting forward Aaliyah Edwards.

UConn posted a video on Saturday in which Charles, who’s a free agent after finishing her 2022 season with the Seattle Storm, beat Edwards 4-2 in a casual game.

Tina Charles vs. Aaliyah Edwards pic.twitter.com/eblIULUEpO

— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 14, 2023

Should Edwards, a junior, seek to learn from Charles, there’s a storied legacy the former can seek to emulate.

Charles (2006-10) was a two-time national champion with the Huskies (2009, 2010) and won multiple player of the year honors in 2010. The Connecticut Sun’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010 has since played with the New York Liberty, Washington Mystics, Phoenix Mercury and Storm.

During practice on Friday and Saturday, she gave pointers to the current Huskies, especially the post players, as necessary.

Tina Charles made a special guest appearance in Storrs ? pic.twitter.com/4wtdAuAN2I

— espnW (@espnW) January 14, 2023

Charles may be over a decade removed from her college days, but in some respects it was as if no time had passed at all. Junior Nika Mühl said that UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey told Charles at one point on Friday to run. Graduate student Lou Lopez Sénéchal, a transfer from Fairfield, noted that Charles wasn’t afraid to give feedback to practice players.

“It’s really cool for us, having a vet like that that’s been here and has been in the league for many years and just learn from her,” Lopez Sénéchal said.

“You always think like, yes, they’re vets, she’s been in the WNBA for 13 years, that’s a long time. You expect them to be so good,” added Mühl. “But seeing that on the court, the way she plays, the way she reads the game, you can’t move her. She’s literally like a rock in the paint — it’s amazing. It’s just so cool to see that experience and so amazing for [the alumni] to keep coming back.”

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