Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Elena Delle Donne has left UConn for the University of Delaware, where she could end up playing volleyball.
“I have decided that in the best interest of both UConn and myself that I will not play college basketball this year,” said Delle Donne, a 6-foot-5 guard from Wilmington, Del., who committed to UConn last August. “Both UConn and I require 100 percent dedication to the sport, and as of now I feel I cannot give that level of commitment. It therefore would be unfair to the excellent program, Coach Geno Auriemma, the team, and UConn fans, for me to play.”
Della Donne, the Naismith Player of the Year, has not been released from her scholarship, and it is unclear if she asked for her release.
Reports have surfaced that she may opt to play volleyball at Delaware, but is not currently with the team. She would need to be released in order to play. If not she could petition the NCAA.
Her older sister has cerebral palsy and Della Donne presumably wants to be closer to home to be with her.
“She’s so good. What a waste,” former UConn star Kara Wolters told the Hartford Courant. “It’s the most bizarre thing I ever heard. To have an opportunity like that to play, obviously, at the best college women’s basketball program in the world. … and she threw it away.”
AAU insider Mike Flynn told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Delle Donne, who turns 19 Sept. 5, had great potential.
“Her skill levels were unmatched for anyone we had seen at the age,” Flynn said. “The only person to compare her with would be Australia’s Lauren Jackson [of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm], who also drew attention when she was very young.
“Athletically, the two are comparable. But here’s the difference. High school is about skill. In college, you have to have the passion, and it appears to people she has lost that desire about the game. Furthermore, once you get to the pros, you also have to be nasty.
“Even though many think she was capable of going straight to the WNBA, she doesn’t seem to have that trait. Elena is basically a very nice kid.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.