NCAAW Profile: Elena Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne (born September 5, 1989) is a basketball and volleyball player at the University of Delaware.

Delle Donne was a high school basketball player at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, Delaware. She led Ursuline to three straight Delaware State Championship titles and was ranked as the number-one overall high school recruit by Scout.com. She was the first and only student at Ursuline so far to score 2,000+ points during her high school career. Delle Donne is 6'5" and set the girls' high school national record for consecutive free throws made (80) in 2005–2006.

Following her senior season in high school (2007–2008), Delle Donne received a basketball scholarship from the University of Connecticut. On August 16, 2008, Delle Donne announced she would not accept the scholarship due to burnout, and instead decided to enroll at the University of Delaware and join their volleyball team as a walk-on.


High school

Basketball - Delle Donne was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2007 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored 17 points, and earned MVP honors for the Red team.

Volleyball - Delle Donne won the volleyball DIAA state championship with Ursuline in 2007. She posted a season high 20 kills against Padua during a game involving the number one and two teams in the state. In college, she played middle hitter at UD for the 2008–2009 season. The 2008 Delaware Blue Hens finished their season with a record of 19–16. They were 9–5 in their conference (Colonial Athletic Association) and won the Conference tournament. They earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but lost to Oregon in the first round.[8] Delle Donne did not continue on the volleyball team in 2009, but joined the basketball team.


College - University of Delaware

Following an outstanding prep career during which she became the most highly-touted women's basketball recruit since Candace Parker, Delle Donne received a basketball scholarship from the University of Connecticut. However, in early June 2008 Delle Donne abruptly dropped out of Connecticut's summer school program after just two days in Storrs.

A week after leaving Connecticut, Delle Donne said by telephone from her home in Wilmington that she has "a lot of personal issues to fix. Only my family understands what's going on. Right now I am going to take a long personal break." She took a similar break prior to the 2007-08 season in high school.

On June 2, 2009 Delle Donne announced that she would play basketball for the Blue Hens in the 2009-10 season as a redshirt freshman.

Delle Donne had a very productive freshman season. She averaged 26.7 points per game, the third-highest of all Division I women's basketball players. She scored 54 points against James Madison on February 18, 2010, which was the highest single-game point total by any Division I female basketball player that season. She was named the CAA Rookie of the Week six times, and the player of the week once during 2009-10.

She was voted the CAA's "Player of the Year" and "Rookie of the Year" in women's basketball by CAA coaches, sports information directors and media. This was the first time a player had won both awards in one year since Old Dominion's Lucienne Berthieu did so in 1999. No men's player has ever won both awards in the same season.


Basketball awards and honors

McDonald's All-American Team 2008
USA Today National Player of the Year 2008
Naismith Prep Player of the Year 2008
Gatorade National Player of the Year 2008
EA SPORTS Player of the Year 2008
Third Team, All-America, Parade Magazine, 2007
Gatorade State Player of the Year, 2007
First-ever cover subject of GIRL magazine, 2007
Slam Magazine All-American First Team, 2006
Women's Basketball Magazine All-American First Team, 2006
Parade All American First Team, 2006
Sports Illustrated All-American Second Team, 2006
EA Sports All-American, 2006
USA Today All-American Third Team, 2006
Gatorade State Player of the Year, 2006
All-State First Team 2006
Scout/FCP SUPER SIX, 2005
Parade All-America Fourth Team, 2005
EA Sports All-America, 2005
Gatorade Delaware Player of the Year, 2005
DSBA Delaware Player of the Year, 2005
Street & Smith All-American Third Team, 2005
All-State First Team 2005
USA Today Freshman All-America, 2004
Nike All-America Camp, 2004
Honorable Mention, Street & Smith Preseason All-America, 2004
All-State First Team 2004
USA Today First Team All-America 2008


Personal

Her parents are Ernie, a real estate developer, and Joanie. Her older brother Gene is currently a tight end at Middle Tennessee State University after transferring from Duke University. Her older sister Elizabeth (Lizzie) is blind and deaf and suffers from autism and cerebral palsy.

Major: Early childhood education with a focus in special education.