Today, we’re taking a look at the inspiring story of WNBA superstar Elena Delle Donne. A two-time WNBA MVP, Delle Donne has been a force in the league since her rookie season and has proven to be an unstoppable force on the court. She is also an advocate for those with disabilities, having been blind in one eye since birth due to a genetic disorder. Delle Donne has used her platform to empower and inspire those around her and continues to be a shining example of what determination and hard work can do.
Who is Elena Delle Donne?
Elena Delle Donne is a two-time WNBA MVP and one of the most iconic figures in women’s basketball. She has been a part of the WNBA since her rookie season and is known for her unstoppable presence on the court. Delle Donne was born with a genetic disorder that left her blind in one eye, but this did not stop her from pursuing her dreams and using her platform to empower and inspire others. Let’s take a closer look at the story of WNBA star Elena Delle Donne.
Why she is an important figure in the WNBA
Elena Delle Donne is an important figure in the WNBA for many reasons. She is a two-time MVP, which means she has consistently proven to be one of the best players in the league. She has also been an advocate for those with disabilities, using her platform to empower and inspire others. On top of that, she has been able to break down barriers and demonstrate that hard work and determination can lead to success, regardless of any obstacles.
Early Life and Career
Childhood and family background
Elena Delle Donne grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and is the youngest of five children. She has three sisters and one brother. Delle Donne was born with a genetic disorder that left her blind in one eye, but she credits her family for helping her stay focused on basketball despite this obstacle. As a child, Delle Donne was drawn to basketball and would practice shooting and dribbling in her driveway for hours.
High school basketball career
Elena Delle Donne had a successful high school basketball career. She played for Ursuline Academy in Delaware and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2007. Delle Donne was also a McDonald’s All-American, which is an honor given to the top 24 high school players in America each year. While at Ursuline, she scored over 3, 000 career points and was the all-time leading scorer in Delaware state history.
College career at University of Delaware
Elena Delle Donne continued her successful basketball career in college, playing for the University of Delaware. As a freshman, she averaged 19.6 points and 7 rebounds per game and was named the CAA Rookie of the Year. She also earned All-CAA honors in each of her four seasons with the Blue Hens. During her senior season, Delle Donne was named the CAA Player of the Year and led the team to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Drafted by the Chicago Sky in 2013
Elena Delle Donne was drafted by the Chicago Sky in 2013. In her first season, she was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 18.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She went on to be named an All-Star in each of her four seasons with the Sky and led them to their first-ever WNBA Finals appearance in 2014.
Success with the Sky, including multiple All-Star selections
Elena Delle Donne was a force to be reckoned with in her four seasons with the Chicago Sky. She was named an All-Star in each season, including being named the MVP of the 2014 All-Star Game. Delle Donne also led the Sky to their first-ever WNBA Finals appearance in 2014.
Trade to the Washington Mystics in 2017
In 2017, Elena Delle Donne was traded to the Washington Mystics. This move proved to be a great decision as she went on to have one of the best seasons of her career with the Mystics. She averaged 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while leading the team to their first-ever WNBA Finals appearance in 2018. Delle Donne was also named the WNBA MVP for the second time in her career.
Leading the Mystics to their first-ever championship in 2019
In 2019, Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics achieved the ultimate goal of any team: winning a championship. Delle Donne was instrumental to their success as she averaged 21.5 points and 8 rebounds per game in the regular season. In the playoffs, she continued her stellar play and led the team to their first-ever WNBA Championship. Delle Donne was named the Finals MVP for her performance.
Awards and Accolades
WNBA MVP awards
Elena Delle Donne is a two-time WNBA MVP, having won the award in 2015 with the Chicago Sky and in 2019 with the Washington Mystics. She is only one of four players to have been named MVP multiple times, including Cynthia Cooper, Lisa Leslie, and Candace Parker. As a result of her success on the court, she has become one of the most recognizable faces in the WNBA.
Elena Delle Donne has been selected to the All-WNBA team seven times in her career. Her first selection came in 2014 while she was still playing for the Chicago Sky, and she has been named to the team every year since then. In 2019, Delle Donne was named to the All-WNBA first team for the fifth time in her career.
Gold medal with Team USA at the 2016 Olympics
Elena Delle Donne also had success on the international stage as a member of Team USA. In 2016, she was chosen to represent her country at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Delle Donne was a key contributor for team USA as they went undefeated in the tournament and won the gold medal. She averaged 7.
Off-court work with the Special Olympics
Elena Delle Donne has used her success on the basketball court to make a positive impact off it. She is an official Global Ambassador of the Special Olympics, and has been actively involved in helping to raise awareness for this cause since 2017. During that time, she has made numerous appearances at events hosted by the organization and has also worked to spread awareness of intellectual disabilities.
Marriage to Amanda Clifton
Elena Delle Donne is also very vocal about her personal life. In 2017, she married her long-time partner Amanda Clifton in a ceremony in Delaware. Delle Donne has been open about her struggles with Lyme disease and how that has impacted her life on and off the court. She has also advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion throughout her career, using her platform to spread awareness for these causes.
Advocacy for disability rights
Elena Delle Donne is an advocate for disability rights. Growing up with Lyme disease, she has first-hand experience of what it is like to live with a disability and the struggles that come along with it. She has used her platform as a professional athlete to spread awareness about disabilities and to speak out in favor of inclusivity. Delle Donne has also made appearances at the Special Olympics to show her support for the organization and its efforts.
Elena Delle Donne is one of the most successful and decorated players in the history of the WNBA. She has accomplished a great deal of success on the court, as well as off it. On the court she is a two-time WNBA MVP, seven-time All-WNBA selection, and a gold medalist with Team USA at the 2016 Olympics. Off the court she is a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, an advocate for disability rights, and an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. Elena Delle Donne is truly an inspiration to many and is well-deserving of the title WNBA Star.