One of the most closely watched players during March Madness this year almost gave up basketball entirely to be near her sister with severe disabilities.
Elena Delle Donne was the top women’s basketball recruit in the country when she decided to play for the University of Connecticut in 2008. But just two days into her tenure at the highly-ranked program, Delle Donne abruptly left.
She returned home to Delaware and wouldn’t play basketball again for a year. Delle Donne was, however, able to be with her older sister Lizzie who is blind, deaf and has cerebral palsy.
“She knows me by my smell and my feel, so, physically, physical contact is the only thing she knows,” Delle Donne told ABC News. “So when I did leave, I lost Lizzie basically. Well, she lost me and I wasn’t OK with that when I left.”
As a junior this season at the University of Delaware, Delle Donne averaged 27.5 points — more than any other player in the country — and helped her team win an NCAA tournament game for the first time ever. They lost Tuesday night in the second round to the University of Kansas, but the young star says she’s not looking back.
“I wasn’t going to be happy if I was separated from my family,” she told ABC. To read more click here.