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CAA-WNBA Q/A: Former UD Blue Hen Elena Delle Donne

Aug 27, 2013, 11:28 AM EDT

CAA’s Tim McDonnell and other league staff members recently spoke with former Delaware Blue Hen Elena Delle Donne of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky prior to the team’s game on Aug. 20 versus the Washington Mystics in Washington, D.C.

source:  TM – How’s the transition into the league been? I know you just recently graduated, plus, the WNBA season is in grind mode right now.

EDD – It’s been going great. I feel like once the season ended I was already getting drafted and moving to Chicago so everything happened extremely fast. But luckily, I have great teammates and a great coaching staff who have been there to help me along the way to make this transition as smooth as possible.

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TM – One of your Chicago teammates, I know you didn’t play against her in the CAA, Tamera Young from James Madison has that CAA connection with you. Where you able to talk with her before or after the draft?

EDD – After I was drafted I spoke with her and a few teammates. So ya, it was nice to have that CAA connection to make me feel more comfortable and to know that someone from the team had been through it and come through the CAA.

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TM – Have you been able to keep up with the Blue Hens? I know it’s a little easier now with social media and other outlets.

EDD – That always helps, but I’ve been so busy so I really don’t know everything they’ve been up to, but I do know their working hard, doing great things preparing for next season.

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TM – In terms of coming from the CAA and not a larger conference like some girls from the ACC, or Big East, is that something you notice? Unique or cool? Does it give you a chip on your shoulder?

EDD – Definitely a chip on your shoulder. I think it’s really great to be able to represent the CAA. People might doubt players coming out of the CAA, it’s a little bit where you want to prove yourself and prove that you can do it from a mid-major.

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source:  TM – Have you ever talked to Tamera in general about paying in the CAA? Maybe mention how UD beat the Dukes and so on, haha.

EDD – We talk trash to one another, (haha) but it’s all fun and games…

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TM – What about the difference in competition between what you faced in college compared to the WNBA? Is there even a comparison?

EDD – These are the best females in the world. Every team has a player that could go off on any single night and all five starters are able to do that and even the bench players. It’s the best girls in the world and incredible competition. It’s a whole different challenge, but very exciting.

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TM – Is there a similarity in ways when you played tougher non-conference schedules. Did you have to step up your game in school when Delaware played teams from ‘so called’ bigger conferences?

source:  EDD – I was never able to coast in the CAA either, so I always had to play my hardest. That’s never changed. Every time I step on the floor I give 100 percent. It hasn’t been any different.

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TM – Last question. In terms of CAA basketball, were you happy how the competition prepared you?

EDD – In the CAA, I was able to face double and triple teams and face new defenses every single night. That definitely helped challenge me.

*All photo’s courtesy of CAA’s Niki DeSantis

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