Chatman & Delle Donne Inspire

Chicago Sky and Urban Partnership Bank held an inspirational discussion for the seventh grade students at Young Women’s Leadership Charter School (YWLCS) of Chicago. Sky Head Coach and General Manager Pokey Chatman and the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne shared their stories during the event to help encourage these bright young women to set goals, aim high and work hard.

A YWLCS student began the discussion with an introduction of Coach Chatman and Delle Donne as well as their many accomplishments. After sharing a short biography of each, the class gave a round of applause eager to welcome Coach Chatman to the podium.

Chatman began by asking the students to remember three important words as they aim for their goals: discipline, deference and determination, joking, “maybe Delle Donne had me thinking of the letter ‘D!’”

Discipline is needed to achieve any goal, Coach Chatman explained to the students, some of whom were taking notes. She explained that Delle Donne was disciplined as a child and continues to be disciplined as she strives for her current goals.

Second, students must give deference, showing “respect to that principal, teacher, teachers aide, coach, parent, older sister, brother, aunt, uncle that is on [their] butt just a little bit,” Chatman shared. She reiterated how important it is to show respect to the people that love and push them every day to become better individuals and stay on track with their goals.

Coach Chatman concluded by highlighting the need for determination. Referring back to Delle Donne seated to her left, Chatman told the students how determined Delle Donne is in her goals on and off the court. In order to stay disciplined, Pokey explained, Delle Donne must be determined and stay determined.

Then Delle Donne took to the podium to share her story, drawing the conversation back to many of the points coach Chatman outlined including discipline. Delle Donne told the students that even though she is a professional basketball player she faces many of the same obstacles as they do about their own goals.

“Do you ever have those days where you wake up and you’re like, ‘I don’t feel like working out,’ or ‘I don’t really feel like studying?,’ Delle Donne asked. “Well, those are the days when you really do get better. When you decide to push through that and keep going.”

The enthusiastic students then asked Delle Donne dozen of questions about her high school years, her family and her basketball career. Through the conversation the class learned about the inspiration Delle Donne’s brother and sister have given her throughout her life, how she balanced her heavy sports schedule with her friend-time growing up and that despite being 6’5, she still likes to wear heels.

To conclude the discussion, the students lined up to get autographs from both Chatman and Delle Donne as well as take a group photo.

The Sky would like to thank Urban Partnership Bank and the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago and their students for welcoming the Sky into their school for this special event.