STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton women’s basketball is officially competing with and winning battles against the nation’s elite on the Division I recruiting scene.
That much was confirmed with the latest addition to the program’s 2022 recruiting class on Monday.
Head coach Misty Wilson announced the signing of the No. 6 overall junior college player in the country to the 2022-23 Texan roster – 5-8 guard Teresa Da Silva out of Arizona Western Community College.
She is the highest-rated junior college recruit the program has ever signed. Da Silva chose Tarleton over offers from multiple Power Five conference and high-major programs, including Penn State, Mississippi State, Nevada and Utah State.
“A basketball player like Teresa can really elevate a program, and I will speak on that soon,” Wilson said. “However, early in the recruiting process with Teresa, it became apparent to us what a remarkable person and teammate she is as well. Our conversations and the relationship we built with Teresa was something special and proved to be a fit from the start. Teresa’s style of play really fits our system. She is an unselfish teammate that takes pride in her teammates’ success as much as she does her own. She shares the ball consistently and defends at a high level. Her ability to score at all three levels makes her a complete player.”
“Teresa’s work ethic is what really sets her apart,” Wilson continued. “As good as she is now, she is driven to continue to improve as an individual while ensuring the success of her team as well. Teresa is a special player that will have a profound impact on our program, and I look forward to coaching her the next two years as she continues to pursue the goals she has set for herself.”
Originally from London, England, Da Silva will be a junior and have two years to play two seasons for Tarleton.
“It felt like home,” Da Silva said of joining Tarleton. “I had an instant connection with the coaching staff and the current players on my visit. They seemed genuine and made an effort to ensure I know what they are about not only as coaches, but as people, too. I know I can count on them with anything. I’m excited to go to war with the girls and the other signees the coaches are bringing in.”
Da Silva steered Arizona Western CC to a 57-7 overall record over the course of her two-year tenure with the Lady Matadors.
She was tabbed an honorable mention NJCAA All-American at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season after leading the Lady Matadors to a 30-3 overall mark, Region I and West District championships and a quarterfinal appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament.
Da Silva led Arizona Western CC in total points scored (393) and ranked second on the team in points per game (11.9) sophomore season. She connected at a 36 percent clip on 3-pointers and knocked down 56 shots from behind the arc. The top offensive performance of her junior college career came in the form of a 22-point effort in a victory at Pima Community College on Nov. 27. Da Silva posted five 20-point scoring games throughout 2021-22.
“Teresa is a special talent,” said assistant coach Nic Cantrell. “She’s got the ability to change the trajectory of our program. ‘T’ scores from anywhere on the court, but one thing that sets her apart is her IQ and passing ability. She’s a very driven player and her goals closely align with the standards we’ve set within our program.”
She also projects as an elite defender. Da Silva led the Lady Matadors in total steals (60) and steals per game (1.8) to rank among the leaders in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC).
Da Silva averaged 9.5 points and a career-best 2.9 assists per outing during her first season in Yuma, helping the team advance to the NJCAA Region I Tournament championship.
Before crossing overseas to Arizona, Da Silva spent the 2019-20 season at Northwest Florida State.
Da Silva earned the opportunity to compete collegiately on the laurels of a standout prep career in Great Britain. She prepped at Barking Abbey High School, played club basketball for the BA London Lions and was a member of the Great Britain U20 Women’s National Team. Da Silva filled up the stat sheet on the high school scene, as she averaged 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.1 steals per game as a high school senior in 2018-19. She scored four points per game and appeared in six contests for Great Britain at the 2019 FIBA European Division B Championships.
The addition of Da Silva swells Tarleton’s 2022 recruiting class to four members. She is the third junior college player Tarleton has inked. The Texans previously publicized the signings of Arkansas State transfer forward Karolina Szydlowska and former South Plains College standout guard Viktoria Ivanova. Tarleton first began building its 2022-23 backcourt with the addition of Frisco HS guard Jordan Wright.