Helton, a graduate of Tennessee High School in 1955, was a star basketball player and attended the University of Tennessee on athletic scholarship. However, his college path bruoght him back to King College as a sophomore, where he took up tennis as an afterthought becuase the school's basketball coach wanted his team to stay in shape during the autumn and spring months.
Helton graudated from King College in 1960 having lost just two singles matches in his final two years of intercollegeiate competition. Helton then graduated from East Tennessee State in 1962 with a masters degree and began his career as a tennis pro at Ridgefield Country Club in Kingsport. He later founded Bristol Raquetclub in 1975.
Helton has won a combined nine international titles in either singles or doubles play and when it comes to regional or state competitions, Helton will admit that he has lost count. He is one such noteworthy citizen who has attained the highest level of athletic success on January 26,2001; he was inducted in the Tennesee Tennis Hall of fame.