LOS ANGELES -- University of Delaware junior Elena Delle Donne, who recently completed a historic season for the Blue Hen women's basketball squad as the nation's leading scorer, was honored Thursday as one of five players named to the John R. Wooden All-American Team for 2011-12.
This recognition marks the second straight season that the Wilmington, Del. native has collected John R. Wooden All-American accolades, after being named as a Top 20 finalist last season. She is the only Blue Hen in program history to earn All-America honors.
The All-American honor is the third for Delle Donne as the 6-5 junior was named to the Associated Press first team and to the U.S. Basketball Writer's first team All-American squads earlier in the week.
“Elena being named first team All-American is truly an honor for her and for the University,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year. “We’ve never had a first team All-American before, and she deserves it. She had an outstanding year. It's an honor that players can only dream of, and to
achieve this just speaks volumes about the type of player that Elena is.”
Delle Donne helped Delaware (31-2) to a record-breaking season that included its first-ever national ranking, a perfect 18-0 Colonial Athletic Association regular season, and the Blue Hens’ first CAA Tournament crown. She polished off the season with a 39-point performance that boosted Delaware to its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory with a 73-42 win over host UALR in the first round. The Hens were knocked out in the second round by Kansas.
The 2011-12 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, Delle Donne currently leads all NCAA Division I players in scoring, averaging 28.1 points. She finished out the 2011-12 season with 925 points, becoming only the 15th player in NCAA Division I history to reach the 900 points per season milestone. Her 925 points this season ranks seventh in the all-time NCAA Division I record book.
Delle Donne, the 2012 CAA Player of the Year, is joined on the John R. Wooden All-American team by Brittney Griner of Baylor, Nneka Ogwumike of Stanford, Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame, and Julie Wojta of Green Bay.
All five players have proven that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA, an important component of the Award insisted upon by Coach Wooden. In addition to academics, the Wooden Award is unique among college postseason awards because voters could consider performance during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best collegiate player who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum
cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ’11).
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012 and will honor the men’s and women’s winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced on ESPN at the Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com or liking the Wooden Award Facebook page. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.