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WNBA free agent Tina Charles practices with UConn

Tina Charles split with the Mercury in June and signed with the Storm soon afterward. (David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)

No. 4 UConn women’s basketball had a special visitor at practice this week, as three-time Olympic gold medalist and 2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles made a surprise appearance.

The team shared a video Saturday showcasing Charles’ practice session with the Huskies. Charles even played one-on-one against starting forward Aaliyah Edwards.

At one point on Friday, associate head coach Chris Dailey told Charles to run, junior guard Nika Muhl said.

While she participated like one of the team, though, Lou Lopez Sénéchal, said the WNBA veteran also gave players valuable feedback.

“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 told ESPN.

“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,” Mühl added. “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.”

In addition to Charles, former NBA star and Hall of Famer Ray Allen also made an appearance at practice.

Charles is a free agent this offseason after finishing the 2022 season with the Seattle Storm. During her time at UConn from 2006 until 2010, Charles was a two-time national champion and won multiple Player of the Year awards in 2010. She was drafted No. 1 overall by the Connecticut Sun in 2010.