University of Delaware Standout Elena Delle Donne Named Colonial Athletic Association Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
July 10, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- University of Delaware women’s basketball All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) has added yet another honor to her extensive list of awards as she has been named the 2011-12 Colonial Athletic Association Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Delle Donne, a 6-5 senior-to-be from Wilmington, Del. (Ursuline Academy) who carries a 3.6 grade point average as an early childhood major, was chosen along with CAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Brandon Heroux of William & Mary for the prestigious academic award. The pair was selected in voting by the league’s 12 media relations directors.
The conference selected a Scholar-Athlete of the Year in each of its 22 championship sports this season, and those winners were placed on the ballot for the Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. All of the winners were a starter or important reserve on their team and had a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher. Not only did the finalists excel in the classroom, but also as athletes, with seven of the Scholar-Athletes earning All-America honors this season.
Delle Donne, who earlier this year was named the Capital One/College Sports Information Directors of American national Academic All-American of the Year for women’s basketball, becomes the first Delaware student-athlete to earn the honor from the CAA.
She becomes only the third UD female student-athlete to be named a conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in school history, joining Kathy Tucci in 1990 and Jill Hershey in 1991. Both were honored when Delaware was a member of the East Coast Conference.
In addition, Delle Donne is only the second women’s basketball player to earn the CAA honors, joining former VCU standout Kristine Austgulen who was named the CAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2003.
One of the NCAA’s top athletes, Delle Donne was dominant on the court during the 2011-12 season, leading the Blue Hens to a historic campaign that saw the squad post a record of 31-2, go undefeated through CAA regular season and tournament play with a record of 21-0, and claim the school’s first NCAA Tournament victory in women’s basketball.
The Blue Hens earned their first national Top 20 ranking, climbing as high as No. 7 in the Associated Press poll, and captured their first CAA Tournament title. The 31 victories set a school record as did the team’s 21-game winning streak which ended with an NCAA Tournament second round setback to Kansas.
Delle Donne, who led the nation in scoring with 28.1 points per game, was a consensus first team All-American this past season, earning honors from the Associated Press, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), United States Basketball Writers Association, Naismith Award, and John Wooden Award. She was a national Player of the Year finalist for the WBCA, Naismith, and Wooden awards as well. She also earned the CAA Player of the Year Award this season for the second time in the last three years.
Her commitment and courage in the face of adversity also earned Delle Donne the 2012 Honda Inspiration Award presented by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program. She was presented the prestigious award in Los Angeles last month.
Delle Donne, who became only the 15th player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to surpass the 900-point mark for a season, also led the Blue Hens in rebounding (10.3 per game), blocked shots (86), steals (39), and three-point field goals (52) and ranked second in assists (75) this past season.
Heroux was the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in track and field for the second time in his career. The finance major has twice been chosen to the USTFCCCA All-Academic squad. Heroux earned first-team All-America honors in 2012 after placing eighth in the javelin at the NCAA Track & Field Championship with a school-record throw of 241-4.
After missing the first part of the spring season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, he turned in a second-place finish in the javelin (235-9) at the Penn Relays. Heroux claimed his fourth consecutive CAA javelin title with a conference meet-record throw of 234-1. He is the only CAA athlete to win four straight javelin crowns and is the first Tribe thrower to earn All-America accolades.