Thursday, March 22, 2012

All-In All Star of the Week: Elena Delle Donne

In a time when many young, pretty co-eds opt for fame over family and everything else...when being famous is a more common goal than being talented...when shady character is the foundation for a fan base, it is refreshing to meet Elena Delle Donne.

Elena Delle Donne is worth knowing. As Robin Roberts of ABC's Good Morning America said, "She chose family over fame and achieved both."

In 2008, Elena was the top woman's high school basketball player in the country. She signed to play at the University of  Connecticut, the #1 program in the country. After moving to the university from her home in Delaware, Delle Donne stayed just two days. She left school, left the team, and left town.

Many girls her age dream of being a celebrity on television all the time, but Elena gave up the chance to be a star at UConn. She was skewered in the media for leaving the program without publicly explaining herself.

She moved to the University of Delaware, just twenty miles from her family's home. It turns out, the reason she left Connecticut was to be closer to her family, especially to her big sister. Her older sister, Lizzie, was born deaf, blind, autistic, and with cerebral palsy. Elena says Lizzie is the strongest person she knows. Although she gave up several national championships, Elena says, "National championships are huge and every team wants one, including Delaware, but there's a lot more to life than basketball. Lizzie is my role model, my angel, my everything."

At a time when frivolous people are celebrated, Elena Delle Donne is gaining fame by being true to herself, by seeing the bigger picture of life, by being All-In.

Enjoy this video, from ABC News. You will be glad to know about Elena Delle Donne, the All-In All Star of the Week.

Since basketball is part of the story, you might enjoy knowing that Delle Donne and her team earned the first post-season victory ever by a Delaware basketball team when they beat Arkansas-Little Rock 73-42 last Sunday.

Third-seeded Delaware (31-1), ranked # 8 in the Coaches Poll, won its 21st in a row. The only game they lost the whole season was December 29, 2011.

They made it through the first round on the NCAA tournament but lost to Kansas Tuesday, ending the season 31-2. Delle Donne had 34 points in that game and remains the nation's leading scorer. She's only a junior, so maybe she'll be the All-In All Star of the week a year from now.

Way to go, Elena Delle Donne! Congratulations to you, your family, and all the Blue Hens and their fans!

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