Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne was named the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year and received the prestigious award on Sept. 20. The 6-foot-5 basketball star, who earned her first college scholarship offer when she was in the seventh grade, was an unsurprising pick for the best new player in the female league.
”I had the pleasure of watching Elena Delle Donne compete in her first WNBA game in Phoenix on May 27 and in my very, very humble estimation it seemed to have taken her maybe 10 minutes to make the transition from the college game to the professional game,” WNBA president Laurel J. Richie said when she presented Delle Donne with the trophy at Sky’s playoff opener against the Indiana Fever.
Delle Donne, who took time off from basketball when she entered college to regain a focus on the sport, accepted the award with total grace. “I’m definitely humbled to be receiving this award among such a talented rookie class this season,” she said.
She also took to Twitter to give a special thank you to her fans. “Big thank you to everyone for all of the support! Now it’s time to get the playoffs started! #skyhigh,” she tweets.
During her first season, Delle Donne averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and shot 93 percent from the free throw line. These excellent records helped Sky make the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s history.