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New York Liberty's Essence Carson, Tina Charles talk to Kidsday

The New York Liberty WNBA team with Kidsday

The New York Liberty WNBA team with Kidsday reporters on the boat The Beast. They were coming from NJ back to NYC, but first they stopped by the Statue of Liberty on May 14, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We took a ride across the Hudson River on the Beast speed boat to pick up the New York Liberty basketball team and bring them back from New Jersey to Madison Square Garden, where they are playing their home games. We met almost all the players and even had a few minutes to chat with stars Essence Carson and Tina Charles.

What do you like best about playing on the women's team?

Tina: Well this year's going to be my first year and I'm looking forward to being back at the Garden playing.

Did you have a job before basketball and what was it?

Tina: My last job was being a student athlete at UConn.

Do you have any friends on different basketball teams?

Tina: Yes, I have a lot of friends all over the WNBA. I think that's the best part of playing in the WNBA -- you make a lot of friends and the camaraderie is always there.

Essence: Yes, I have some friends on other teams across the league, but when it comes to basketball and we're in between those four lines, once the game starts we're both competitors. We're opponents at that point.

If you had your own sneakers, what would they be named?

Tina: I don't know. That's a good one. TCs I guess.

Are you living your dream or do you want to do something else?

Tina: I'm living part of my dream, but there's more things I would like to do.

Essence: Yes, I'm currently living one of my dreams. I am also a musician so I'm a music producer as well as an artist. So that's my other dream. So I'm also doing that dream right now. Yes, I'm living both of my dreams at the moment.

Do you enjoy training for your games?

Tina: Yes, I do enjoy it. That's the best part about playing basketball. You get to train and practice all the time.

Who was your favorite basketball player growing up and why?

Essence: I had a couple of favorite basketball players when I was growing up. Of course, one of them was Michael Jordan, another one was Kevin Garnett. Kevin just for his passion that he had for the game and how he played so passionate.

Who is your favorite teammate?

Essence: We're like a big family here at The Liberty. I can't say that I have one favorite. They're all my sisters and that's exactly how we play.

What other sports did you play growing up?

Essence: Growing up I also played volleyball and I also ran track.

What is the history behind your number?

Essence: I wear number 17. I was drafted in the first round, 7th pick. The 17th was also unfortunately, the day that my grandmother passed away. She was very, very active in my life. So that was something I held close to my heart. So those are just two reasons why I wear number 17.

What do you like best about playing on this team?

Essence: I love playing on New York Liberty. One because we're family and two, because we play in the city of New York, the best city in the entire world. I played in many cities and many countries across the world and New York is definitely my favorite place and definitely the best place to play. It's the mega of basketball, home to the world's most famous arena. So where else would you guys want to play.

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