Best young basketball player (2008)

Tina Charles

Wouldn't you know it? The best young hoopster in New York City is fleeing town this fall. After helping her squad capture the state title earlier this year, Tina Charles, the slim and smart 6-3 forward from Christ the King High School, inked with UConn, the powerhouse of women's college basketball. Christ the King was not only the queen of Queens but also the No. 1 high school team in the country. Charles's all-around game (she averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds last season), court savvy, and smoove style have UConn fans already screaming with joy—they tore the place down at Northeastern's gym in Boston last spring when Charles played in an all-star game. She reminds observers of Chamique Holdsclaw, Christ the King's megastar of the early '90s who went on to Tennessee and then the WNBA. Meanwhile, here we New Yorkers sit, still achin' from last year's painful Knicks and bruises.


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