Blue Hen Standout Elena Delle Donne Named Finalist for USA University Games Team
May 25, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Steven Maikoski (USA Basketball)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Following three days of trials with some of the top college-aged women’s basketball players in the country, University of Delaware standout and All-American Elena Delle Donne was named one of 14 finalists for USA’s Women's Basketball University Games Team.
“I was definitely happy my name was called first on the list,” said Delle Donne (at right), the first Delaware player to be granted a University Games trial. “It felt incredible, I got chills right away. I’m just so excited and can’t wait to get back here and start working with the team. It’s a phenomenal group of girls and I’m just really excited to be a part of this.”
Delle Donne, a native of nearby Wilmington, Del., has the potential to become the first player in the Colonial Athletic Association since Adrienne Goodson in 1993 to make the USA University Games Team. With 14 players currently on the roster, and only 12 on the final roster, Delle Donne will resume training with the team from July 31 until Aug. 8.
The USA University Games Team will fly to Shenzhen, China for the 2011 World University Games women’s basketball competition, which is set to run from August 14-21. The squad will be led by Bill Fennelly, current head coach at Iowa State University. Joining Fennelly on the bench are Suzie McConnell-Serio (Duquesne) and Terri Williams-Flournoy (Georgetown).
“Everyone involved with Delaware basketball is very excited about this great accomplishment by Elena,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who concluded her 15th season at the helm of the program. “We are thrilled that she will have the chance to represent not only the University of Delaware, but also the United States at the World Games."
Courtney Hurt, who is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, a member of the CAA, joined Delle Donne at the trials, but did not make the finalist roster.
Joining Delle Donne on the finalist roster will be Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Jacki Gemelos (Southern California), Keisha Hampton (DePaul), Shenise Johnson (Miami), Glory Johnson (Tennessee), Lynetta Kizer (Maryland), Natalie Novosel (Notre Dame), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford), Devereaux Peters (Notre Dame), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee), April Skyes (Rutgers).
Delle Donne, who played in just 22 games after being diagnosed with Lyme disease, still had an outstanding season, leading the Hens with 557 points, averaging 25.3 points an outing. She set a new Delaware mark, knocking down 52 straight free throws, boosting her season percentage to a school record 94.4 percent, and hit 166 of her 177 attempts.
Midway through the conference schedule, the sophomore became the fastest player in Delaware and CAA history to reach the 1,000-point benchmark, doing so in just 38 career games. She surpassed the 55-game mark set by James Madison University standout Dawn Evans, who made the World Games Team Trials in 2009. Delle Donne’s 38 game mark is the second-fewest games needed in NCAA history to reach 1,000 points.
For her efforts during the season, Delle Donne was named first team All-CAA while being selected as the league’s Player of the Week on four occasions. She was also selected as the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association John J. Brady Athlete of the Year.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives