Darlene Hunter is a veteran with experience and confidence. She is poised and tough all in the right moments. She has been a key player for the National Team since the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The Commerce Township, Michigan, native never actually played wheelchair basketball, until she was in college in 2000. She had previously been a track participant and made it to the 1999 and 2001 World Championships. At one point in her track career, she was top five in her specific classification.
Although she was very successful in track, she became enthralled with the team aspect of wheelchair basketball. It gives her confidence that she always has people to pick her up and push her to get through. She considers 2010 as her breakout year in the sport, winning a gold at the IWBF World Championships and then finding the top of the podium again in 2011 and 2015 at the Parapan American Games.
She credits her parents with all the success. She notes how much her parents had to work to afford for her and her brother to be in sports and to travel with teams. They supported everything she does and is always there for her no matter what including the ups and the downs.
Hunter attended the University of Arizona in Tucson where she studied Psychology and then went on to receive her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Texas. If that wasn’t enough for this genius, she went onto Texas Women’s University to get her PhD in Family Studies. She now works for HCB Digital building curriculum for schools including online courses. She also is the regional coordinator for Veterans and Community programs for the Texas Regional Paralympic Sport. She resides in Arlington, Texas.
Darlene is very involved in the sport and couldn’t love the community of Wheelchair Basketball anymore. She is involved with the Dallas Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team and is also a volunteer coach. She loves her teammates on the National Team just as much like they are one big family.
“I love my teammates and that’s one of the reasons I play. The women are growing and becoming stronger and they are more emotionally supportive in good and bad times. This sport truly never disappoints,” said Hunter.
She shouldn’t be disappointed in Rio either as both her and the team are confident going into the Games. She is confident in the training and work they have put in and believes they will have nothing but success in the Games.