WASHINGTON, DC – USA Basketball announced today that Washington Mystics players Tina Charles and Ariel Atkins were named to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team that will compete in Tokyo this summer. The women’s basketball competition will be held July 26-Aug. 8 at the Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan.
Making her third appearance in the Olympic Games, Charles is in her first season with the Mystics after sitting out the 2020 season due to a medical exemption. The 2012 WNBA MVP is having the best season of her stellar 11-year career. Charles is averaging a league best, career-high 24.5 points per game and passed Lisa Leslie for second all-time in double doubles. She has set numerous milestones this season, including being the first player in league history to total at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals in a game.
“I am thankful to God for this opportunity to represent my country in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics,” said Charles. “I don’t take my place on this team for granted. I look forward to the months ahead!”
Atkins will make her Olympic Games debut this summer after taking part in the 2019-20 USA Basketball National Team expanded training program where Team USA posted a 17-1 record. She is currently averaging career-best in numerous categories, including points per game (19.0), rebounds per game (3.0) , field goal percentage (.468) , 3-point field goal percentage (.452) and free-throw percentage (.887). Atkins was selected in the first round (7th overall) in the 2018 WNBA Draft. In addition to helping lead Washington to back-to-back WNBA Finals appearances and a championship in 2019, Atkins has earned All-Defensive Team honors in each of her three WNBA seasons.
“I am very excited and honored to be a part of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team,” said Atkins. “This is such a surreal moment and while I am extremely thankful, I honestly don’t think it has really hit me yet.”