UD star leads USA women’s team in China

Delaware women’s basketball star Elena Delle Donne has made an impressive debut with Team USA at the World University Games in China. 

The 6′ 5″ All-American was chosen to be part of the American team earlier in August.  Sunday, Delle Donne scored a game-high 17 points as the USA team defeated Brazil, 112-53 in Shenzhen, China.

With an 53-17 lead at halftime, Delle Donne said the challenge for Team USA later in the game was to keep their focus.

“When you are up like we were, sometimes your focus does go a little bit,” said Delle Donne. “Defensively we let them score too much in the third quarter. They scored 23 points, which was more than they scored in the entire first half. So, we really need to focus in on that, grab rebounds and finish plays.”

Delle Donne followed up her opening-game effort by contributing ten points in Team USA’s second game, a 114-63 victory over Slovakia.

Delle Donne is entering her junior year at UD.  She was one of the nation’s most highly-recruited players after starring at Ursuline Academy, but left the University of Connecticut in her freshman year.  Delle Donne played volleyball at UD before returning to basketball.  In her first season she was CAA rookie of the year and averaged 26.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game.

This past season, Delle Donne was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and played in only 22 games. 

The USA women conclude preliminarly play Tuesday against Great Britain.  Quarterfinals in the medal round will begin Thursday.

Fans can follow Team USA and Elena Delle Donne online:  CLICK HERE.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal