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Tina Charles, who was named the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player after leading the Connecticut Sun to the regular-season Eastern Conference championship, has been named the state's female athlete of the year by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance.
Jonathan Quick, the former Hamden High School and Avon Old Farms hockey goaltender who sparked the Los Angeles Kings to their first Stanley Cup championship, is the male athlete of the year.
Charles will receive the Hank O'Donnell Award, while Quick is the recipient of this year's Bill Lee Award. They will be honored at the 72nd Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 28 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
This year's Gold Key winners are former NBA player Mike Gminski, E.O. Smith boys soccer coach John Blomstrann, UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens, Staples cross country and track coach John "Laddie" Lawrence and former New Haven basketball star Gary Liberatore.
Charles, a former UConn player, enjoyed her best season as a professional in 2012 when she averaged 18.0 points and 10.5 rebounds, both team highs, while leading the Sun to a 25-9 record, the Eastern Conference crown in the regular season and the WNBA conference finals in the playoffs.
The WNBA wasn't the only place Tina Charles shined in 2012. She was also a key member of the Olympic gold medal U.S. women's basketball team which went a perfect 8-0 at the Summer Games in London.
Tickets to the 2013 Gold Key Dinner, which begins at 4 p.m., can be purchased by contacting either CSWA President George Albano of The Norwalk Hour at (203) 434-2320 or vice president Bob Ehalt of The New Haven Register at Ehalt.Bob@sbcglobal.net.
- Day staff reports