In the Game with Elena Delle Donne

By Samara Mackereth

Sep 19, 2013 12:55pm

The Chicago Sky is reaching new heights with rookie Elena Delle Donne. The 6′ 5″ guard and forward for the WNBA team was just named rookie of the month for the fourth consecutive month. She leads the rookie crew in scoring, averaging 17 points per game and ranks second in the league in rebounds with 6 rebounds per game.

For the Delaware native, her first season has been ‘a dream come true’ and she has set her sights on taking the Chicago Sky to the limit.

“I love building things and surprising everyone, prove the haters wrong, and get people on board,” said Delle Donne,  ”it’s just a great feeling to know we can make history here, we can do something that’s never been done before.”

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With all of her success and indisputable talent, the WNBA all-star stays grounded with the help of her family.

“They’re everything to me. They’ve definitely made me the person I am today. And I owe everything to them,” said Delle Donne who has a particularly close relationship with her sister Lizzie. It was the bond with her sister that prompted her premature exit from University of Connecticut.

“I got a little bit of backlash but I think once people kind of started to understand my story and the fact that I was true to myself, they were ok with it,” said Delle Donne, “the biggest thing was at that point in time, I wasn’t ready to leave home.”

Lizzie Delle Donne, who is autistic, was born blind and deaf and suffers from cerebral palsy. With their relationship based on touch and hand over hand sign language, proximity is necessary in their relationship. Elena calls her sister her angel, one who keeps her humble amongst her success and newfound fame.

“All I’m doing is putting a ball through a basket,” said Delle Donne, when I see her fight her struggles every single day, just to get up in the morning – that’s far more incredible than anything I’m doing on the court.”

Predicted to be the WNBA rookie of the year, the sky is the limit for Elena Delle Donne. Not taking her fortunes for granted, she plans to travel the country in the off season and run basketball camps for young athletes. This is something that she finds just as fulfilling as a buzzer beater against a rival team.

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