Former Silver Star retiring following 10 WNBA seasons

Silver Stars Honor Helen Darling Saturday

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Silver Stars will honor former guard Helen Darling during its Breast Health Awareness game against the Tulsa Shock on Saturday, August 6 at 7 p.m. in the AT&T Center. Darling played 10 WNBA seasons, including four with the Silver Stars, before retiring after the 2010 season. She will be honored for her contributions to the team and the league in a pregame ceremony.

“Helen has been an inspiration to all who have been involved with her,” head coach and general manager Dan Hughes said. “From the time I drafted her in Cleveland to this day, all those that have come in contact with her have benefitted from her talents, persistence and desire to better herself and the world. One of the best defenders the WNBA has ever seen, Helen became a wonderful mother to triplets and an acclaimed author of children’s books, all while playing a decade of successful basketball in the WNBA. She is an absolute success story.”

Darling joined the Silver Stars via the 2007 WNBA Dispersal Draft and played four seasons in San Antonio. She finished her career ranked sixth in the franchise record books in games played (131), seventh in assists per game (2.3), eighth in steals (128) and ninth in assists (304). She helped the Silver Stars capture the 2008 Western Conference Championship and finished her four years averaging 3.1 points, 1.0 steals and 1.8 rebounds per game.

Originally selected by Hughes – then head coach of the Cleveland Rockers – with the 17th overall selection in the 2000 WNBA Draft out of Penn State University, Darling played 98 games for the Rockers with 66 starts in three seasons. She finished her Cleveland career with averages of 5.2 points, 3.08 assists, 2.31 rebounds and 1.12 steals per game and notched the second-highest single-season assists total (128) in 2003.

Darling joined the Minnesota Lynx as the seventh overall selection in the 2004 WNBA Dispersal Draft and finished the season ranked 13th in the WNBA in assists. She was traded to the Charlotte Sting in 2005 where she spent two seasons, averaging 4.4 points, 2.8 assists and 1.27 steals through 60 games and 40 starts.

Beyond her on-court accomplishments, Darling distinguished herself as an active member of the community, participating in a variety of service activities and campaigns throughout her WNBA career including Breast Health Awareness, Read to Achieve, Vaccines for Teens and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, among others.

Darling is also the mother of triplets, Ja-Juan, Jalen and Neveah, born on April 13, 2002. In 2007, Darling utilized her degree in education to start a publishing company – My Darling-Tots. She wrote the first in a series of seven children’s books titled Hide-n-Seek Monday in 2007 and the second Yummy Tummy Tuesday in 2008.

Individual tickets for Breast Health Awareness Night and all Silver Stars home games are available at all San Antonio Ticketmaster locations, including by phone at (210) 225-TEAM, or online at ticketmaster.com or sasilverstars.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or on weekend event days starting at 10 a.m. or by calling (210) 444-5090.

Presented by CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Systems, Breast Health Awareness Night is part of a WNBA initiative to help raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer.

The Silver Stars will be wearing pink uniforms, including jersey, shorts and shoes. The game-worn jerseys will then be auctioned off in a live, on-court, postgame auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the CHRISTUS Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU). Last season, the Silver Stars Breast Health Awareness jersey auction raised $42,000 which was put toward maintenance and improvements for the MMU.