4. Elena Delle Donne
Born: September 5, 1989
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware
College: University of Delaware
Elena has always forged her own path. From the very start, she knew exactly where she wanted to go and set out on her journey. While staying in her home state, Delaware, she attended the University of Delaware and played basketball for the Blue Hens. The decision to attend this university was not always easy, especially since she was first recruited to play for the University of Connecticut. Her decision to attend the University of Delaware was ultimately based on her close relationship with her family, as she planned to spend time with them during the off-season. Elena is always thinking of others. She is the consummate team player, always giving praise to her teams and coaches, even as she is the one recognized for being the best player on the court.
Off the court, she has a number of passions that mainly involve donating her time and talents. She is the global ambassador to the Special Olympics and became the first national ambassador for the Lyme Research Alliance. Both have a special place in her life; her older sister Lizzie has special needs and Elena has been battling Lyme disease on a daily basis since 2008. Both, also, are a regular motivation for her and are a constant inspiration to be the best athlete possible. Elena also plays host to De11e Donne Academy, a basketball camp that runs throughout the year, where she mentors and coaches girls ages 7 to 18. Elena continues to transcend in all aspects of her life; it is second nature to her. On and off the court she is motivated by two words, “Demand Excellence.”