Tina Charles donates half of salary

NEW YORK -- Liberty center Tina Charles is donating half of her WNBA salary to a charity she started to honor an aunt who died of multiple organ failure last year.

Charles has already raised $48,000 for Hopey's Heart Foundation to purchase 100 automatic external defibrillators (AEDS). She'll donate approximately $50,000 of her salary, which is about $100,000 per season.

"It means everything. When I started with this foundation I just wanted something to be in my aunt's name," Charles said. "I see it as the more AEDs out there we can help combat sudden cardiac arrest. The more AEDs out there the better chance people will have."

The foundation provides health education, CPR training and lifesaving AEDs in schools, communities and recreational centers. The league announced Friday that Charles will receive the WNBA Cares community assist award and contribute $7,500 to the foundation.

Charles is in her first season with the Liberty after coming to New York in a trade in April. She's also donating tickets to Liberty home games to local community groups.

Being charitable is nothing new for Charles. She donated money to build a school in Mali in 2012.

"It's extremely important as in my past history people have given to me," Charles said. "It's only right that now I'm in a financial situation that I can help others in need, I want to."