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(Photo courtesy of Delaware)
Elena Delle Donne - Delaware
Led nation in scoring as a junior, ranked No. 2 as a senior. Closed career in stellar fashion, scoring 33 points in each of Delaware's three NCAA Tourney games; her 33 in Blue Hens' first-ever Sweet 16 game (vs. Kentucky) moved her past Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw, and Maya Moore into fifth place in NCAA history in career points (3,039). UD's first ever All-American (2011), earning such honors all four years while propelling to national prominence a program that previously had never won an NCAA postseason game or attained a top 25 ranking. Three-time Colonial Athletic Association POY (2011, '12, and '13); CAA career leader in points, blocks, FGs, and FTs; and three-year team co-captain. Set Delaware's career scoring record in just 63 games, 50 fewer than the previous record holder 2012-13: Led Blue Hens to a second straight CAA title and a school-record 32 wins, including won over North Carolina to reach NCAA Regional semifinals; earned second straight Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year honor for women's basketball. Entered campaign already as UD's career leader in points, FGs, 3-pt. FGs, and FTs made, FT percentage, and blocks. 2011-12: WBCA, John Wooden, AP, and USWBA First Team All-America; Nat'l POY finalist; Honda Inspiration Award winner; CAA Player of Year; First Team All-CAA and CAA All-Defensive Team. Led Div. I?with 28.1 ppg and FGs made; surpassed 20-pt. mark in all but 3 games. 2010-11: AP Hon. Mention All-America, First Team All-CAA; became the second fastest in NCAA history to 1,000 points (38 games); made UD-record 94.4% of FTs; avg'd 25.3 ppg despite missing 11 games due to Lyme disease. 2009-10: UD's first ever All-America pick (AP Third Team); one of 20 finalists for Wooden Award; CAA Player of the Year. 2008-09: After leaving UConn for UD, did not play basketball but was selected to the CAA All-Rookie Team in volleyball, leading squad in blocks as UD reached NCAA tourney. PREP/MISC: Won four state hoops titles, one volleyball crown; 2007-08 National POY (hoops) honors from Naismith and McDonald's foundations and USA Today. Worked with a personal coach since elementary school, focusing first on guard-type skills. Hails from a close family whose name, in Italian, means "of the women." Dad, Ernie, played basketball at Columbia; 6'7” brother Gene played football for Middle Tennessee State; older sister, Lizzie, was born deaf, blind and with cerebral palsy.