Category Archives: Elena Delle Donne

Delle Donne Replaced by de Souza On All-Star Roster

by Categorized: Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Date:

Atlanta Dream center Erika de Souza has been named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie to replace injured Eastern Conference All-Star Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky in the WNBA All-Star Game.

For de Souza, 31, a former Connecticut Sun player, this will this be her second All-Star appearance. The native of Brazil previously participated in the 2009 All-Star event, also held at Mohegan Sun Arena. Her seven double-doubles are tied for third in the WNBA and she ranks fifth in the league in both rebounding (9.1 rpg) and blocks (1.81 bpg).

  Delle Donne – the first rookie in WNBA history to earn the top spot among vote-getters in All-Star fan-voting – will be unable to attend the All-Star Game after suffering a concussion on Wednesday during the Sky’s road loss to the Washington Mystics.

 Eastern Conference Head coach Lin Dunn will select a player to start in place of Delle Donne.


“Three to See” Likely To Just Watch Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game

by Categorized: Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins, WNBA Date:

   Following the course set during the 2012-13 college season by broadcast partner ESPN, the WNBA has invested the majority of its marketing resources this season on the tireless promotion of just three rookies – center Brittney Griner, forward Elena Delle Donne and guard Skylar Diggins.

   They have been the “Three to See.”

   That the three eventually morphed into the top three draft picks in April, going in order to Phoenix (Griner), Chicago (Delle Donne) and Tulsa (Diggins), turned out to be a wonderful coincidence, one that seemed to validate the extra wattage trained on the trio.

  But a funny thing happened on the way to Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

   The “Three to See” has turned into the “Three Who Will Watch.”

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Delle Donne Likely To Miss All-Star Game

by Categorized: Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Date:

Saturday’s WNBA All-Star at the Mohegan Sun Arena may likely be played without one of the league’s most popular players.

Rookie Elena Delle Donne, the second overall pick in the 2013 Draft and top All-Star vote-getter, suffered a concussion in Wednesday’s game at Washington and is now listed as questionable for the game. The two-time All-American from Delaware, and former UConn recruit, was injured in third quarter of the loss to Mystics.

Delle Donne fell to the floor fighting for the ball and did not return for the final 11 minutes. Chicago coach Pokey Chatman confirmed the concussion after the Mystics team doctor examined her.

WNBA rules stipulate that Delle Donne must miss 4 to 5 days, which means she would not be able to play in the game.

Delle Donne, the WNBA’s third-leading scorer at 18.6 points per game, is the first rookie to lead the All-Star voting.

Two WNBA Drafts Packed Into One

by Categorized: Anne Donovan, Asjha Jones, Bill Laimbeer, Brittney Griner, Chris Sienko, Connecticut Sun, Delaware women's basketball, Elena Delle Donne, Epiphanny Prince, ESPN2, Kim Mulkey, Mike Thibault, Skylar Diggins, WNBA Date:

There is a running joke about Monday’s 2013 WNBA Draft. It’s the one about the how one draft can suddenly resemble two.

     “The joke around here is that I have the first pick in the other draft,” said Mike Thibault, the coach and GM of the Washington Mystics and owner of the fourth selection. “I tried to come up with creative ways to get one of the three, but none of it worked.”

    Actually, it’s not as much of a gag and an expression of reality.

    “It’s not a joke,” said Lin Dunn, coach of the champion Indiana Fever. “It’s the truth.”

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UConn Women Take Their Boss Home

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, ESPN, Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame women's basketball, Skylar Diggins, UConn women's basketball, Warde Manuel Date:

Warde Manuel, UConn’s athletic director, was raised in New Orleans where he was a Parade All-American defensive lineman at Brother Martin before going to Michigan to play for Hall of Fame coach Bo Schembechler in 1986. He played football for two seasons before a neck injury ended his promising career.

“Being from New Orleans, there’s a clause in my contract [five years, $10.86 million] that says it was going to get ripped up if we didn’t win and get him back to the city,” Geno Auriemma joked last week.

Manuel said he was also kidding the women’s team before the season.

“I told them, ‘Ladies, you are responsible for getting me back home,” Manuel said.

Three To Watch – One In New Orleans

One of ESPN’s major preseason promotional vehicles this season was its “Three To Watch” featuring Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Baylor’s Brittney Griner.

Only one of the them played in Sunday’s Final Four – Diggins.

“Yeah, we weren’t fortunate enough to have any of the three to see that ESPN talks about all the time,” Auriemma said. “So we had to do it as a group rather than rely on one person. But that’s always been the case at Connecticut.  We don’t build our program around one person, no matter whom it is.

“We don’t aspire to be that, when we have players like Tina [Charles] and Maya [Moore] and Renee [Montgomery] and Diana [Taurasi] and Sue [Bird] and Sveta [Abrosimova] and Shea [Ralph] … I could go on and on.  It was always in the context of we’ll let them decide, each player, how big their role is going to be.

“And because of their personalities and how big their personalities were, they just became superstars.  And we don’t have anybody with that personality this year. We just don’t. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has the kind of basketball game, the kind of skill level that if she had a different type of personality she would be like Maya or like Diana in terms of how she would act, but she doesn’t have that yet.  Maybe she’ll get it next year.”


Blue Hens Have Elena Delle Donne’s Back

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Elena Delle Donne, Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard Date:

Elena Delle Donne’s teammates have embraced her during her career and have done the best they can to enjoy the media attention she generates wherever she goes.

But the Blue Hens also do their best to watch her back.

“I don’t know if it’s been like watching a movie, but if it is I’ve been trying to get my 15 minutes of fame,” Delaware senior Danielle Parker said smiling. “It’s been cool, it’s been amazing. But sometime I just want to shelter Elena from stuff. I’m like her body guard. But as long as she is comfortable, we are comfortable. The ride we’ve had together [there are seven seniors on the Blue Hens] has been amazing. You couldn’t ask for more. This is everything we have wanted, making the Sweet 16 and helping the university make some history.”

Delaware guard Trumae Lucas, a transfer from Florida, agrees with Parker

“We’ve all taken on a second job as [Delle Donne’s] body guard,” Lucas said. “We’ll be sitting at dinner and one of us will see someone out of the corner of our eye about to take her picture. So we just warn her.”

Lucas has a large tattoo on her left upper arm that is hard to ignore.

“It’s a $21 bill with my face in the middle of it,” Lucas said. “Underneath there is the sky. So I guess you can call it somewhat symbolic – the sky is the limit.”



Geno Talks Elena Delle Donne

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Delaware women's basketball, Elena Delle Donne, Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball Date:

If Delaware and UConn advance to Monday’s Elite Eight game, its almost certain both Geno Auriemma and Elena Delle Donne will be asked to delve deeply into their past, a past when he was her coach for two days as a freshman.

But for now, this is what Geno said about the Delaware All-American:

“I would say that it appears there has been a huge change in maybe her approach to the game,” Auriemma said. “She is willing to take on the kind of responsibility that come with that kind of God-given talent.

“I think the object of going to college is to find out a little bit about who you are and what you may become. If that happened for her, then it’s been a good four or five years for her, and whether it happens at UConn or Maryland does not matter. If kids go to college and it turns out right, that’s all that matters.

“When we recruit a player for UConn, you hope that’s what you can do [provide] for them. If they go someplace else, at least you know you are recruiting the right kind of kid. If they go some place and are a failure then you are obviously going down the wrong path.

“I am happy for her and her family, I’m glad we can still identify talent in our old age.”

Delaware Coach Tina Martin On “The Experience”

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Delaware women's basketball, Elena Delle Donne, Tina Martin Date:

Delaware coach Tina Martin tossed some funny and imformative stories during her 15-minute press conference on Saturday at the NCAA Bridgeport Regional.

On how Elena Delle Donne has improved as a player:

“She has learned to recognize defenses better since she was a freshman. We’ve seen it all; from a box and one to a triangle and two to junk defenses that throw multiple players at her. She now knows on the floor where to look for openers and cutters.

“She’s always had that beautiful shot you see. I can not take credit for it. She just has a good feel for the game. And she has the heart of a competitor.”

What she means to the state of Delaware:

“Besides Vice President Biden, I don’t think there is more important individual in the state right now. She carries herself so well. He has put her ego aside. She embraces her team and they embrace her back; a humble kid who works really hard and is very talented.”

On how Martin felt when Delle Donne first picked UConn, then came back to Delaware to play volleyball:

“We knew Elena would chose between the top programs; the BCS schools, if you will. I followed her career since she was in the 8th grade. I even wrote her a letter then – totally within NCAA rules. But other than that, I had no connection to her. I watched and wondered like everyone else to see where she would choose to play.

“Geno Auriemma is one of the best coaches in the country – I think he is the best – so I was happy for Elena. Then ironically I was in Italy on vacation for the first time in 10 years [when she left and enrolled to play volleyball  at Delaware]. When my former AD called to tell me Elena had enrolled, it was 2 a.m. in Italy and I was this has to be crazy. And then the next thing he said was, she is going to play volleyball. I knew at that point that the young lady was stressed out. It had to be so overwhelming.

“But I knew things would calm down, and they eventually did. I left her alone, gave her space [when she played volleyball]. Then she started to come around [the basketball office] and said she wanted to play. I was happy, then I started to immediately worry how would I get her the ball.”

On whether Vice President Joe Biden will attend Saturday’s game:

“I can’t speak to his schedule, but he sometimes calls me out of the blue and says, “Tina, this is Joe, if you don’t know, Joe Biden. And I say, ‘Yes, Mr. Vice President.’ It’s amazing. He’s an incredible man, but I don’t know yet if he will be here. But he’s a good luck charm. We have not lost when he is in the stands. If there’s any chance President O’Biden can let him come. We’d appreciate it.”

If Elena’s more famous in Delaware than Joe Flacco, the former Blue Hens’ QB who led the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl championship:

“Mr. Flacco is a tremendous football player. I can’t say if he or Elena is more popular, but I will say Elena has a leg up because she is a Delawarian and Mr. Flacco is from the New Jersey area, if I am not mistaken. But I will give the edge of Elena because I am her coach.”


Elena Delle Donne On A Few Topics

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Caroline Doty, Elena Delle Donne, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Here’s what Elena Delle Donne had to say this afternoon about a few topics prior to Saturday’s Sweet 16 game against Kentucky:

On coming to Connecticut to play the most important game in Delaware history:

“Do I find this ironic? Not really,” Delle Donne said of possibly playing UConn Monday for a spot in the Final Four. “I’m not upset about it. It’s been an awesonmejourney and it brings us here now. But as for possibly playing against UConn, I don’t allow myself to think about it. The focus the entire season has been on the next game. And if we stopped that now and overlooked Kentucky it would not be a good thing.

On Vice President Joe Biden, the former Delaware senator and one of he program’s biggest fans:

“He is absolutely amazing, one of our biggest supporters. More than anything, he’s so down to earth. He feels like a friend to us. We love him and he’s been supporting us and we know he will be watching us and supporting us.

On playing in Europe and the Olympics after the WNBA season:

“I haven’t made any decisions about that. I’ll play my WNBA season and go from there, see what kind of offers come [for overseas]. I’ll make the decisionwhen the time comes. But as for playing USA Basketball, it’s incredible and something I definitely want to do. I want play for the Olympic team. I hope that’s in my future.”

On her friendship with UConn’s Caroline Doty, a former AAU teammate:

“We’ve been texting and I got to see some of her on Thursday. Caroline and I are great friends, we’ve been friends since we were 11 and we will be friends forever. She is awesome. All this UConn business hasn’t affected that at all.”


Remember When: Delle Donne Departs (June 8, 2008)

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Elena Delle Donne, Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball Date:
June 08, 2008|By JOHN ALTAVILLA; Courant Staff Writer

Elena Delle Donne, the prized recruit in UConn’s incoming freshman class, left campus during her first week of summer school and headed home.

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma confirmed Delle Donne’s departure Saturday.

“This is nothing out of the ordinary,” Auriemma said. “It happens all the time. Maybe she’s just not ready to make the move [away from home] yet.”

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