Release List Reviews Shop Join News DVD Giveaways Video Games Advertise
DVD Reviews | Theatrical Reviews | Adult DVD Reviews | Video Game Reviews | Price Search Buy Stuff Here
DVD Talk
DVD Reviews DVD Talk Headlines HD Reviews


Add to My Yahoo! - RSS 2.0 - RSS 2.0 - DVD Talk Podcast RSS -


Go Back   DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Sports Talk

Sports Talk Discuss all things Sports Related

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-20-06, 11:03 AM   #1
mrpayroll
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Glendale, next to L.A.
Posts: 18,486
She’s 6-5 and 17, With the Potential to Alter the Game

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/20/sp...rssnyt&emc=rss

Quote:
December 20, 2006

She’s 6-5 and 17, With the Potential to Alter the Game

By MICHAEL WEINREB

WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 15 — When she was 3 years old, Elena Delle Donne used a wrench to detach the training wheels from her bicycle, then taught herself to ride as her parents watched from inside the house.


Elena Delle Donne has the potential to be among the few players in recent years who have helped change the way the women’s game is played.

This was, her father said, one of the first hints at the extent of the preternatural gifts his daughter possessed. The signs kept coming.

When she was in elementary school, Delle Donne watched a physical-education teacher juggle three balls, then, within minutes, taught herself the trick. She played free safety on a youth league football team. And when she attended a basketball camp in the summer between seventh and eighth grade, she learned that North Carolina Coach Sylvia Hatchell had invited her father, Ernie, into an office to offer a scholarship.

“I thought, does she have the right parent?” Ernie Delle Donne said.

In a way, it all made sense: Ernie Delle Donne is 6 feet 6 inches and played basketball at Columbia. His wife, Joan, is 6-2 and was a swimmer and tennis player. Their son, Gene, is a 6-5 quarterback who recently transferred to Middle Tennessee State from Duke. But their daughter, who is a 6-5 junior at Ursuline Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school here, has emerged as more than just the best women’s basketball prospect in the class of 2008 and the latest target of recruiters from N.C.A.A. Division I powers like Tennessee, Duke and Connecticut.

If Delle Donne lives up to her potential, scouts say, she could become one of a handful of talented players in recent years who have helped change the way the women’s game is played.

“If you’re 6-5 or bigger, you’re pretty much set as long as you can walk,” said Chris Hansen, the national director of scouting for HoopGurlz.com, which tracks the sport. “But there aren’t many people like her who are that big and that mobile.”

Delle Donne, 17, has the height of a center, but her skills set her apart. She can play in the paint and on the perimeter. She can pass, run the floor and set screens. Her shooting range extends beyond the 3-point arc, and she set a national record last season by hitting 80 consecutive free throws.

Candace Parker, a 6-4 forward at Tennessee who in March became the first woman to dunk in an N.C.A.A. tournament game, may be more athletic, Hansen said, but Delle Donne appears more versatile. All of that has led some to whisper that Delle Donne could become the LeBron James of the women’s game.

“LeBron James, he’s unheard of,” Delle Donne said.

But just as James blossomed into a celebrity before his senior year of high school, Delle Donne has grown accustomed to giving interviews and playing before sold-out crowds and fighting off double- and triple-teams. During a game against Middletown High School on Thursday, with representatives from Tennessee, Duke and other programs watching from the bleachers of Ursuline’s modest gym, she was harassed and thrown off-balance and faced a series of gimmicky defenses.

Despite struggling with her shot, she never seemed particularly bothered by it all and finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocked shots in a 45-29 victory.

[On Monday, at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Ariz., she scored 40 points and blocked 11 shots in a victory over Cleveland (Tenn.), the No. 8 team in USA Today’s national poll. Ursuline is ranked 10th.]

“In watching her for four years as an observer, I thought she was the best high school player I’ve seen,” said Ursuline Coach Fran Burbidge, a former college assistant coach who took over the program before this season. “But being around her and coaching her, she’s better than I thought. This kid is a threat from anywhere on the floor.”

It is a philosophy rooted in years of training, beginning in the second grade, when Delle Donne began working with John Noonan, a former high school point guard and physical therapist whom Ernie Delle Donne met while rehabilitating an injured ankle. Ernie Delle Donne and Noonan went to one of Gene Delle Donne’s youth-league games, and Ernie was impressed enough with Noonan’s basketball advice that he hired him to coach his son.

Eventually, Ernie started taking his daughter along with him, with the notion that he did not want her to be trained as only a post player because of her height. “I thought, what a great idea, to have this tall girl learn the game through the eyes of a point guard,” he said.

At their first session, Noonan said, he was so mesmerized by Elena’s abilities that they ran through drills for 45 minutes before she tapped him on the shoulder and asked if she could stop for a drink of water. “As a second grader, she played like a freshman in high school,” Noonan said. “She’s always been looked at as being older than she is, and she acts that way, too. Her composure is well beyond her years.”

It is a trait that, if anything, leads people to underestimate her. If there is a knock on Delle Donne, it is her intensity on defense. At times, her effortlessness has been interpreted as laziness. But it was not until he started coaching her, Burbidge said, that he realized Delle Donne was much quicker than he realized.

Ursuline’s assistant coach, Peg Desendorf, said Delle Donne’s impact was so subtle in last season’s state championship game that it seemed almost impossible to believe when she finished with 50 of her team’s 68 points. The opponent, St. Elizabeth, scored 51.

“Every aspect of my game can always get better,” Delle Donne said. “I just try to ignore all the outside influences and stuff.”

Still, it is a great burden for any teenager to handle, these intimations that, with players like Parker at Tennessee and Diana Taurasi in the W.N.B.A., she could help alter the way the game is played and viewed.

But Delle Donne has a built-in method of disregarding such heady proclamations: Every afternoon, she returns home and sees her older sister, the one member of her family who will never be an athlete, the one member of her family, she said, who holds them all together.

Elizabeth Delle Donne is 22. She has autism and cerebral palsy. She is blind and deaf and has been through more than 30 operations. She has a full-time caregiver and spends much of her time in bed. When she does make it out, she goes to the Mary Campbell Center, a local home for the disabled.


The residents there have no idea who Elena Delle Donne is, she said. But they see this impossibly tall girl who carries herself without a trace of awkwardness, and they scramble to take her picture.
It will be interesting to see how her college / WNBA career goes. And when she's 18, I'll be able to say 'she's hot'.


Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 11:58 AM   #2
El Scorcho
DVD Talk Hero
 
El Scorcho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 39,619
Seems pretty cool but winning the Belmont will be tough for her.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 12:01 PM   #3
twikoff
DVD Talk God
 
twikoff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Right Behind You!!!
Posts: 79,459
wnba?
is that still around?
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 12:52 PM   #4
Red Dog
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 111,700
She's on the fast track to slicing meat at the local deli.
__________________
"A question for you. Would you rather Bucknell make the NCAA's once every 20 years or so and get ass raped by teams like Kansas in the first round or have them drop down a rung to a confernce where they can compete for a title?"
- Josh Hinkle
1st Round Final Scores: Bucknell 64 Kansas 63 | Bucknell 59 Arkansas 55
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 01:04 PM   #5
HistoryProf
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Formerly known as "brizz"/kck
Posts: 23,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpayroll
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/20/sp...rssnyt&emc=rss



It will be interesting to see how her college / WNBA career goes. And when she's 18, I'll be able to say 'she's hot'.


Chris
but since she's only 17, you just say "she's perfect."
__________________
Pavel Datsyuk on his coach saying he gives teammates extra room on the ice: "I think he meant that I am really small," Datsyuk explained. "So when I, a small slim person, am on the ice, there is more room for bigger guys. Maybe he said that to cheer me up that I look skinny!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 01:32 PM   #6
devilshalo
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somewhere between Heaven and Hell
Posts: 25,846
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Scorcho
Seems pretty cool but winning the Belmont will be tough for her.
Damn you for ruining my privacy screen!

I've been wiping hot chocolate off of it for 20 mins.
__________________
Oh, don't be the victim. Don't make up excuses because you're a dumbass. - Lynda Thompson
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 01:39 PM   #7
Daryl
DVD Talk Legend
 
Daryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: You might catch me in Atlanta, looking like a boss
Posts: 13,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Scorcho
Seems pretty cool but winning the Belmont will be tough for her.
bravo! bravo!
__________________
"You want it to be one way ... but it's the other way." - Marlo Stanfield
"I also don't know why Jalen Rose always carries a bat, but I do know he is always awesome"
"Go Blue. Thank you, 2013-14 Michigan Wolverines"
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 02:54 PM   #8
Goat3001
DVD Talk Legend
 
Goat3001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 14,479
Learned to ride a bike by herself at 3? Learned to juggle in less than 5 minutes? psssh, lets see how long it takes her to convince the world that women's basketball exists.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 03:00 PM   #9
mrpayroll
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Glendale, next to L.A.
Posts: 18,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat3001
Learned to ride a bike by herself at 3? $25
Learned to juggle in less than 5 minutes? $30
psssh, lets see how long it takes her to convince the world that women's basketball exists. priceless
Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 03:05 PM   #10
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
If she brings people that aren't friends and family into the stands, that'll be a fundamental change in the WNBA game.
__________________
"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."

Hussein Massawi, the former leader of Hezbollah
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 04:13 PM   #11
DRG
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ND
Posts: 12,206
Dammit, I read the title "She's 6-5 and 17..." and based on its general position on the main forum page, I thought this was in Adult Talk.

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 05:55 PM   #12
mrpayroll
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Glendale, next to L.A.
Posts: 18,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by DRG
Dammit, I read the title "She's 6-5 and 17..." and based on its general position on the main forum page, I thought this was in Adult Talk.

I don't think that would be erotic at all. I think it would look weird a taller women with a smaller man.

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 06:58 PM   #13
Bacon
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: on somone's ignore list
Posts: 19,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by twikoff
wnba?
is that still around?
about as good as the male "basketball" counterpart
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 07:12 PM   #14
Bushdog
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon
about as good as the male "basketball" counterpart
Billions of dollars would mock your comment.
__________________
This Space Reserved for When My Ennui Lifts

NearysEpiphany was right.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 07:13 PM   #15
Bacon
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: on somone's ignore list
Posts: 19,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushdog
Billions of dollars would mock your comment.
who cares about the Yankees' payroll?

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 07:20 PM   #16
Bushdog
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
I'm really beginning to wonder if you're a lesbian. It would explain a few things.
__________________
This Space Reserved for When My Ennui Lifts

NearysEpiphany was right.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 07:35 PM   #17
Bacon
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: on somone's ignore list
Posts: 19,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushdog
I'm really beginning to wonder if you're a lesbian. It would explain a few things.

explain why you think that

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 09:34 PM   #18
namrfumot
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
namrfumot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 6,408
her poon must be like the Grand Canyon
__________________
I give namrufmot TEN delicious Ritz crackers, the most ever awarded by me - Thor
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-06, 10:15 PM   #19
Trelach24
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Trelach24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,793
And she will be a Terp!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-06, 06:56 AM   #20
The Bus
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 52,476
I heard Ursuline had a great player. I guess I might go see one of her games come the fall.
__________________
Movies: 2002 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 / 08 / 09 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 2014

PSN: Chiwotweiler
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:55 PM.

Rules - DVD Talk - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0
Copyright 2011 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.