OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Four-time All-American and University of Delaware senior Elena Delle Donne has been selected as the NCAA Division I women’s basketball 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award® winner.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I women’s basketball coaches, national basketball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I women’s basketball.  To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.

“It is a true honor to be the recipient of the Senior CLASS Award,” remarked Delle Donne.  “I am a student-athlete who truly believes in the importance of athlete’s behaviors and actions both on and off the court.” 

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

“Throughout my career, I was constantly aware of the leadership position that comes along with being a student-athlete and strived to be a role model in the classroom, in the community and on the basketball court,” commented Delle Donne.  “It is important for all athletes to remember that their roles and responsibilities extend well beyond the courts and fields on which they compete.”

A human services major with a 3.63 grade point average, Delle Donne is just one of four to earn the Capital One Academic All-American® of the Year award in back-to-back seasons.

Delle Donne is active in many team community service activities, including visits to A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital and working with Delaware Special Olympics.

“Elena is an outstanding representative of the University of Delaware in so many ways that go beyond her athletic talents,” Delaware head coach Tina Martin stated.  “She has worked hard both on and off the court and has become a true leader of our team.  I am proud that she is such an exceptional role model to so many young people and we are happy to see her receive this prestigious honor.”

A three-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, Delle Donne helped lead the No. 15 Blue Hens to a 32-4 overall record this season with back-to-back CAA titles.  She ranked second in the nation with 26.0 points per game and scored 30 or more points in eight games this season.  She holds CAA career records for points, field goals, free throws, free throws attempted and blocks in addition to finishing fifth all-time in NCAA history with 3,039 career points.

“Elena has been a force to be reckoned with in women’s basketball her entire career at Delaware,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award.  “Her selflessness and genuine capacity to treat everyone with respect and dignity off the court is what has made her stand out to college basketball fans across the country.”


2013 Senior CLASS Award All-American:  Elena Delle Donne, Delaware

First Team Senior CLASS All-Americans
Layshia Clarendon, California
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame
Drey Mingo, Purdue
Chelsea Poppens, Iowa State

Second Team Senior CLASS All-Americans
Brittany Chambers, Kansas State
Jacqui Kalin, Northern Iowa
Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts
Anna Martin, DePaul
Jaime Printy, Iowa