“Elena is one of the brightest stars in our game today and an iconic role model.” —Lisa M. Borders, WNBA President
“Inspiring in many ways.” —Kirkus Reviews
Elena Delle Donne, 2015 WNBA MVP and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, shares her inspirational story of being a young basketball prodigy who gave up an impressive basketball scholarship for family and self-discovery.
Elena Delle Donne has always forged her own path. During her first year of college, she walked away from a scholarship and chance to play for Geno Aurriema at UConn—the most prestigious women’s college basketball program—so she could stay in her home state of Delaware and be close to her older sister, Lizzie, who has several disabilities and can only communicate through hand-over-hand signing.
Burned out and questioning her passion for basketball, she attended the University of Delaware and took up volleyball for a year. Eventually she found her way back to her first love, playing basketball for the Blue Hens, ultimately leading them, a mid-major team, to the Sweet Sixteen. She went on to become the second overall selection during the 2013 WNBA draft and the WNBA’s 2015 MVP.
Elena Delle Donne delivers a powerful and motivational story of overcoming the challenges of competitive sports through balancing hard work and the support of a loving family.
Elena Delle Donne has been a professional women’s basketball player since 2013, when she was selected by the Chicago Sky second overall in the WNBA draft. She was the 2015 WNBA MVP and won the gold medal with the USA’s women’s basketball team in the 2016 Olympics. She is the global ambassador for the Special Olympics and became the first national ambassador for the Lyme Research Alliance. Elena also plays host to De11e Donne Academy, a basketball camp that runs throughout the year, where she mentors and coaches girls ages seven to eighteen. She now plays for the Washington, DC, Mystics.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2018)
Length: 272 pages
Grades: 7 and up
Ages: 12 - 99
Lexile ® 970L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
"Inspiring in many ways, this will be meat and potatoes to girls with their own basketball aspirations."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Elena Delle Donne is one of the great role models in sports today. She's a terrific athlete who has written a wonderful book that is riveting, compelling and honest. Elena's story is an inspiration to anyone who loves and plays sports."
– Christine Brennan, USA Today sports columnist, CNN and ABC News commentator, best-selling author