Delaware Standout Delle Donne Named to WBCA Pre-Season Wade Player of the Year Watch List
August 24, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
ATLANTA – It has been a busy summer for University of Delaware women's basketball standout junior Elena Delle Donne, who helped lead Team USA to the World University Games Gold Medal earlier this week.
Continuing to pile up accolades upon her return from China, Delle Donne (at right) has now been named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 25-player Wade National Player of the Year Watch List.
Now in its 35th year, the State Farm Wade Trophy is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. The prestigious award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is presented annually to the NCAA® Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.
The 2012 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention, which will be held in conjunction with the 2012 NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Denver.
This marks the second straight season that Delle Donne has been named to the pre-season watch list. Delle Donne was left out of the finalist in 2010-11 after missing 12 games with symptoms of Lyme disease. She is the only player representing the Colonial Athletic Association on the pre-season list.
“It’s a great honor for Elena to be viewed as one of the top players in the country,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, the winningest coach in UD basketball history, who will begin her 16th season in 2011-12. “Elena is very excited for this season after enjoying a fantastic summer.”
Joining Delle Donne on the Watch List were Team USA teammates Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Keisha Hampton (DePaul), Glory Johnson (Tennessee), Natalie Novosel (Notre Dame), sisters Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike (both of Stanford), Devereraux Peters (Notre Dame), Odyssey Sims (Tennessee), and Shekinna Tricklen (Tennessee).
Also on the list are LaSondra Barrett (Louisiana State), Alex Bentley (Penn State), Cierra Bravard (Florida State), Carolyn Davis (Kansas), Jasmine Dixon (UCLA), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut), Shenise Johnson (Miami), Jamie Printy (Iowa), Monique Reid (Louisville), Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown), Tyra White (Texas A&M) and Riquna Williams (Miami).
Delle Donne increased her national profile after helping Team USA to a Gold Medal, leading the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game and helping the Americans post a perfect 6-0 record.
The Wilmington, Del. native also led Team USA in rebounding, pulling down 8.5 boards an outing, including 34 total on defense. She also tallied 18 assists with five blocks and three steals. She was a pair of helpers short of a triple-double in the Gold Medal game, putting up 18 points with 11 rebounds against Taiwan en route to a 101-66 Team USA victory.
During the Blue Hens' 2010-11 season, Delle Donne helped lead Delaware to the CAA tournament title game. The Blue Hens, seeded seventh in the tournament, pulled out several upsets along the way to the championship matchup with top-seeded James Madison.
Despite missing 12 games during the campaign, Delle Donne still paced Delaware in scoring, putting up 25.3 points per game. The All-American was also second in rebounding, pulling in 7.8 per game. Delle Donne also did a great deal of damage from the free throw line, connecting on 94.4 percent of her attempts, and set the school record for consecutive free throws made at 52.
Following the CAA tournament, where Delle Donne was named to the All-Tournament team, Delaware earned an at-large bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. In the first round, Delaware battled tough, but fell to the eventual WNIT champion Toledo by a score of 58-55 despite Delle Donne's 31 points.
This coming season, Delle Donne will see one other fellow Wade Watch List standout in Bentley, who, along with her Penn State teammates will make the trek to Newark for a matchup on Nov. 17.
Delaware, which went 20-14 overall last season, kicks off the 2011-12 season on Nov. 11 when it hosts the Rams of Rhode Island in the Bob Carpenter Center.