NY Liberty star Tina Charles is donating half of her WNBA salary to a charity she started to honor her aunt who died of multiple organ failure in 2013. Approximately $50,000 of her salary for the second straight season will be donated to help Hopey’s Heart and to purchase defibrillators.

“It means a lot just to keep the awareness out there about sudden cardiac arrest,” Charles said. “Taking an interest in others is key in my life. It’s my way of giving back. My passion of placing AEDs. Anything I can do to impact an institution with an AED is extremely important to me.”

Hopey’s Heart provides health education, CPR training and lifesaving AEDs in schools, communities and recreational centers.

Charles’ organization is now expanding to Europe and next season EuroLeague women arenas will be required to have an AED on site.

“I commend Tina Charles for all of the great work she does through Hopey’s Heart Foundation,” said FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel in April. “Tina is a fantastic example of a basketball player making a difference on and off the court, and this project is a welcome contribution to our efforts to provide the safest possible playing environment for our athletes.”

Teammate Swin Cash spoke highly of Charles’ benevolence.

“She’s the type of person that has a passion to not only be a great leader on the court but also the community,” said Cash, who has her own charity and hosted 35 kids this past weekend in New York. “There are so many players that do amazing things.”

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