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1,100 spread awareness for disabilities at LOGAN Nose-On

Courtesy of WNBU

Over 1,100 people showed up to this year’s LOGAN Nose-On luncheon. LOGAN Center hosts the annual event to raise awareness for people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

They only expected almost 1,000 people to show up, so having over 1,100 people is great for the center.

They also received a big check for $150,000 from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which is bound to help a lot of people.

But the big takeaway was what the keynote speaker, WNBA’s Elena Delle Donne, had to say.

Delle Donne knows the feeling all too well, being the little sister to someone who is blind and deaf.

“[A girl] was looking at my sister like she was a monster,” Delle Donne said. “And that’s something that stuck with me for my entire life.”

To Delle Donne, her sister was the complete opposite of a monster.

“Growing up with Lizzie was an absolute blessing,” Delle Donne said. “She taught me so many lessons that I don’t think I would have learned without having her as my older sister, like perspective.”

And it’s been a blessing for Lizzie being given equal support from her sister, because unfortunately, it’s a common thing for people with disabilities and their families to hear they can never do something again.

“Doctors said she would never be able to hold her head up on her own,” Delle Donne said. “She’ll never be able to walk. And she’s done all those things plus more.”

That’s something not too far off from what Janet Menting was told two years ago after getting into a bad car accident.

“They actually told me they’d never see me walk or talk or move my hands,” Menting said. “I have use of one hand.”

Menting actually spent 2 months in a coma after the accident. Two years later, after persisting and fighting for what she wanted, she’s surpassing those expectations.She’s working at the front desk at LOGAN now and she’s already made some huge improvements.

“At home, I go on walks every night,” Menting said. “I get up and run. And mom can’t keep up with me! Dad and mom are like ‘Janet! Slow down!'”

Both women want to spread a message of hope.

“I encourage a lot of people that are in a wheelchair to set their mind to stuff,” Menting said. “Not just give up on one thing.”

“Special needs individuals are an absolute joy and a gift to all of us and we’ve just got to continue to get them out in the community,” Delle Donne said.

There are still plenty of people out there who are looking for support and motivation. If you’d like to help out the cause, you can donate on LOGAN’s website at http://www.logancenter.org/donate/

 

Original Source: http://www.wndu.com/content/news/1100-spread-awareness-for–disabilities-at-LOGAN-Nose-On-416753613.html

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‘Hope to see you soon’: Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne shares letter from Joe Biden

Courtesy of The Washington Post:

Former vice president Joe Biden is already looking forward to making the 90-minute train ride from his home in Delaware to see former Delaware star and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne play for the Mystics. Biden, who made the commute between Wilmington and D.C. on a nightly basis for 36 years while serving as senator of Delaware, sent Delle Donne a letter last month after the Mystics completed a blockbuster trade for the 2016 Olympian.

Delle Donne tweeted a photo of Biden’s typed letter, which came in an envelope labeled The Vice President, on Tuesday. It reads:

 

Dear Elena,
Congratulations on your recent move to the Washington Mystics! I look forward to watching you play here in the District. Washington is a great city, but the best part is that it’s only a short train ride from our home state of Delaware.

Best of luck as you transition to a new city and new team. Congrats again.

Sincerely,

Joseph R. Biden Jr

 

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

“Hope to see you soon,” Biden wrote beneath his signature. “Proud of you — both your skill and your courage.”

Delle Donne originally committed to play college basketball at U-Conn. after a decorated high school career in Wilmington, but she transferred to Delaware before her freshman year to be closer to family. Delle Donne, who battles chronic Lyme disease, spent the first four years of her WNBA career in Chicago. It was no secret this offseason that she wanted a fresh start with a team closer to home.

Biden has followed Delle Donne’s career for years. He was in the crowd when Delle Donne and Delaware defeated North Carolina in the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament, and he wished her luck at the Rio Olympics, where the U.S. women won gold last August. Biden’s first chance to see Delle Donne in a Mystics uniform during the regular season is May 14 at Verizon Center.

 

Original Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2017/03/07/hope-to-see-you-soon-mystics-elena-delle-donne-shares-letter-from-joe-biden/?utm_term=.651e3eea03c4

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In Elena Delle Donne, the Washington Mystics Finally Have Their Star

Courtesy of WNBA:

September 26, 2012 was supposed to be the first day of a bright future for the Washington Mystics. After winning just five games earlier that summer, the Mystics had the best odds of getting the first pick in the loaded 2013 WNBA Draft, which featured Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins — the so-called “Three to See” — as the top prospects. And with a 93.8 percent chance of walking away with at least a top three pick, the Mystics seemed on track to obtain their first superstar since Chamique Holdsclaw left the team in 2004.

Then, live on SportsCenter, the dream immediately turned into a nightmare. As then-president Laurel J. Richie began calling out the results, the Mystics were the first team to hear their name; they would be picking fourth a few months later at the 2013 WNBA Draft. No Griner. No Delle Donne. No Diggins.

That is, until two weeks ago, when the Mystics swung one of the biggest trades in WNBA history, acquiring Delle Donne in exchange for Stefanie Dolson, Kahleah Copper, and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft. “It’s taken four years to make it happen,” Mystics head coach and general manager Mike Thibault told WNBA.com after the deal was made official. “When she came out of the draft, we were trying to make a deal with Chicago to get her then.” Finally, after a circuitous route, the Washington Mystics have their star.

As is often the case with nightmares, the 2013 WNBA Draft wasn’t quite as bad as the Mystics might have imagined. With the No. 4 overall pick, they took Tayler Hill, who had a breakout season last year, averaging over 15 points per game, and looks to be a key part of their core moving forward. They also stole Emma Meesseman late in the second round, and the Belgian forward is now one of the league’s best young bigs.

That duo, combined with Delle Donne, now gives Washington arguably the most talented young core — all of them are 27 years old or younger — in the league. With those three leading the way, the Mystics have officially embarked on the next phase of their organizational journey. “We think we’re on the right path to having an elite organization at some point,” Thibault said. “It’s taken a few years to build where we’re going, and this [adding Delle Donne] is one of the big missing pieces to it.”

In existence since 1998, the Washington Mystics have been stuck in the middle of the pack. In 19 seasons, they’ve been to the playoffs nine times, but have won just one series — back in 2002. No Mystic has ever made an All-WNBA First Team, and just three players have made an All-WNBA second team: the aforementioned Holdsclaw, who did it three times, Alana Beard and Crystal Langhorne. With a dearth of playoff success and no superstars over the past decade-plus, the Mystics have long been overlooked. But there is nothing mediocre about Delle Donne (nor building a new arena, set to open in 2018).

Adding a former MVP and perhaps the best player the franchise has ever had, however, brings a set of expectations that will be unlike anything the Mystics have ever managed.

“The hardest thing is fans’ expectations right away are that automatically things are gonna work right. It doesn’t work like that,” Thibault said. “It takes time for players to get used to each other. We’ll have some bumps along the way in all of this, but the biggest thing is they keep their eye on the big picture of what we’re trying to accomplish. And the best way to do that is just get better every day — when you’re walking out of the gym, walking out better than when you walked in.”

The on-court cohesion should come sooner than later with the talented trio of Delle Donne, Meesseman and Hill joined by veteran guard Ivory Latta, newly acquired sharpshooter Kristi Toliver and returning center LaToya Sanders.

In Meesseman (1st), Delle Donne (3rd), and Toliver (4th), the Mystics now have three of the top four three-point shooters by percentage in the league last season. If you include Hill (17th) and Latta (30th), they have five of the top 30, giving Washington far and away the best outside shooting attack in the league.

But while the Mystics will be able to put five legitimate three-point threats on the floor, Thibault doesn’t want to become one-dimensional on offense, saying, “I don’t think we want to live or die with that [three-pointers].” With the versatility those players, have, that shouldn’t be too much of a worry. No matter the area of the floor, the Mystics are going to be a problem for opposing defenses.

“[Thibault] has said that we’re building a Golden State type of team, type of offense,” Toliver added. “And I wouldn’t want to play for any other style than that.”

Anchoring everything — the versatility on offense, the pressure and expectations, the new direction of the franchise — is Delle Donne, who is no stranger to those kind of things. For four years, she was the face of the Chicago Sky, helping the team to its first ever playoff apperance in her rookie season, then following that up by leading them on an improbable WNBA Finals run the next year. With Delle Donne powering the way forward — she had a usage percentage north of 25 percent in each of the last three years — the Sky went to the playoffs in all four of her seasons there.

But Thibault’s hope is the situation in Washington will be different. “They [Meesseman and company] will take some pressure off of her,” Thibault said. “A lot of times in Chicago, she was given the ball and they said, ‘Go make a play for us.’ She doesn’t have to do that every possession.”

Likewise, Delle Donne sees a bright future for her and her teammates once they get on the floor together.

“The basketball side of things is something I’m smiling the most about and am most excited about,” the 2015 MVP said. “Each time I listen to Coach Thibault speak about the team and what he thinks we can accomplish and do, it just gets me so excited to just get on court and start working with these awesome and talented teammates.”

With the arrival off Delle Donne, the Mystics have their long sought-after star, and the dynamic of the franchise has, at last, been transformed. Now, the Washington Mystics are part of the WNBA’s elite.

 

Original Source: http://www.wnba.com/news/elena-delle-donne-washington-mystics-trade-history/

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Social Stream: Elena Delle Donne Arrives In Washington

Courtesy of WNBA:

For the first time in three seasons the Washington Mystics failed to play postseason ball in 2016. But, before even stepping foot on the hardwood in 2017 the team already appears poised to make sure that drought will be short-lived.

The Mystics added 2015 WNBA MVP, three-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, Elena Delle Donne from Chicago in late January. In addition to bringing a long list of accolades, EDD is widely regarded as one of the league’s preeminent scorers and will immediately make the Mystics an offensive juggernaut.

The 27-year-old arrived in the Nation’s capital on Friday to officially be introduced as the newest Mystic. Follow her day here:

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Original Source: http://www.wnba.com/news/social-stream-elena-delle-donne-arrives-washington/

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1-on-1 with Elena Delle Donne

Courtesy of WJLA:

The Washington Mystics introduced D.C.’s newest sports superstar Friday.

Elena Delle Donne met with the media about a week after the team pulled off a block-buster deal to bring the 2015 WNBA MVP to Washington.

The acquisition immediately vaults the Mystics to challengers for the WNBA title – an achievement the franchis has yet to accomplish.

ABC7’s Scott Abraham sat down with Delle Donne for an extended interview covering her trade to Washington, her battle with Lyme disease and moving closer to her family.

Original Source: http://wjla.com/sports/content/1-on-1-with-elena-delle-donne

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Elena Delle Donne “always had her eyes on D.C.,” suggests that the WNBA should lower the rims

Courtesy of Bullets Forever:

It looks like Delle Donne wanted to be a Mystics player from Day One.

Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne gave two interviews to CSN Mid Atlantic’s Chris Miller in regard to the trade that sent her to D.C. In the video above, there are the two main takeaways from it:

  • Delle Donne said that she “always had her eyes on D.C.” since she began her professional career. In addition, Delle Donne felt like it was Christmas morning when she knew that she’d be in Monumental Red this summer.
  • She was humbled by John Wall’s and Bradley Beal’s excitement over her arrival. In fact, she said this multiple times in this video. Let’s show that Monumental-ly powerful photo once again!

 

Delle Donne was in attendance for the Wizards vs. Pacers game last night with Tayler Hill, who signed a contract extension as well.

During the game, Miller had a chance to speak with Delle Donne again during the second quarter. Once again, Delle Donne talked about being “humbled” by Wall’s and Beal’s welcome. But that’s not the biggest takeaway from it.

At the 1:10 mark, Miller asked Delle Donne what she would do if she were commissioner for a day. Her response was that the WNBA should consider lowering the rims to about 9 feet so there could be more above-the-rim play in the league.

For those of you who aren’t the biggest WNBA fans out there, Delle Donne mentioned that she got some slack over the suggestion. It stemmed from a mailbag Q&A she gave on The Players’ Tribune in February 2016. Delle Donne believes that the best way to see if lower rims work is by getting some players together, play competitively, and see how it is. And other sports, like volleyball, for example, have different net heights in the women’s vs. the men’s game. UConn and USA Basketball women’s national team head coach Geno Auriemma also agreed.

Some other players disagree, most notably, Phoenix Mercury point guard Diana Taurasi, who said,”Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen.” ESPN’s Kate Fagan, who spoke to Taurasi on that topic, also agreed that lowering the rims would not be the best thing to do in basketball. First, there’s the challenge of finding different hoops for women and girls to play on. And second, dunking isn’t the be-all, end-all of basketball skills. Fagan mentioned Warriors point guard Stephen Curry who is lauded for his perimeter playmaking skills as opposed to his dunking ability.

I’ll finish this with a question. Do you think that women’s basketball should have lower hoops? To me, I don’t think it makes sense, mostly because of the logistics and the fact that women who play right now have to adjust the way they shoot. But there are notable women’s basketball figures like Delle Donne and Auriemma who think the idea has merit. Let us know in the comments below.

Original Source: http://www.bulletsforever.com/2017/2/11/14588760/elena-delle-donne-interview-washington-dc-lower-rims-2017

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Forbes’ Under 30 list includes Patrick Kane, others with Chicago ties

Courtesy of Chicago Tribune:

Patrick Kane and Elena Delle Donne have been named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list of innovators and entrepreneurs in the sports category, one of 20 selected by the business magazine for its annual ranking.

Forbes noted Kane’s three Stanley Cup trophies and various awards the Blackhawks winger has collected as well as endorsements deals with Bauer and Chevrolet. The magazine noted Delle Donne’s Rio gold medal and 2015 MVP title as a member of the Sky.

Other athletes with current and former Illinois connections were selected to the list, including Chris Sale, who the White Sox recently traded to Boston; former Bear and current Patriot Martellus Bennett, and Paralympic medalist and University of Illinois alum Tatyana McFadden.

 

Original Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chicagoinc/ct-forbes-under-30-list–patrick-kane-20170104-story.html

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Elena Delle Donne works to inspire seriously ill students

Courtesy of Delaware Online:

Persistent health conditions shouldn’t keep someone from achieving goals, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne told students at Wilmington Hospital’s First State School, a program for chronically ill children.

The Ursuline Academy and University of Delaware grad and Olympic gold medalist told students how suffering from Lyme disease, which can cause long-term joint, heart and central nervous system problems, didn’t keep her from pursuing her dreams. The key, she said, was to set goals and surround yourself with great people.

“There might be days that you don’t feel so hot,” Delle Donne told nearly 20 students Wednesday morning. “Tell someone. It helps to have someone there to support you and guide you. Just be honest and open with them about what you are feeling or what you may be nervous about or upset about that day.

“They can help you get through those toughest times, because we know we can’t get through them alone.”

Located in Wilmington Hospital, the First State School gives children and adolescents who would otherwise be homebound with serious chronic illnesses the chance to attend school with their peers while they receive medical treatment. The school offers kindergarten through high school education to children with diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, severe asthma, cancer and other illnesses that preclude regular school attendance.

The 31-year-old program, the first such school and one of only three in the country, is a collaborative effort by Christiana Care and the Red Clay Consolidated School District. The school has a camp that encourages students to adopt healthy lifestyles, another reason Delle Donne was there.

“Bringing Elena in today to help with some of our activities … really shows the students that they can overcome their chronic illness and work on physical activities, maybe in a modified version of what the typical student may do,” said Elizabeth Houser, the school program director. “But that there is still the ability despite their chronic illness to be able to participate in health and wellness.”

The visit touched 17-year-old Telyka Brooker-Parquet.

“I have asthma so it’s really hard for me to do any sports, and I’m really scared so I just give up,” Brooker-Parquet said. “But [Delle Donne] didn’t give up. She said anybody can do it, and I guess I can do it, too.”

Brooker-Parquet, who has been in the school for four years, suffers from chronic asthma and severe allergies that cause her to go into shock if she smells anything she’s allergic to. The teen said Delle Donne’s visit allowed her to see there are others like her, including people who have family members with disabilities.

Like Delle Donne’s sister Lizzie, who is deaf, blind and has intellectual disabilities, Brooker-Parquet said her brother is also disabled.

“This was especially important to me,” Brooker-Parquet said. “I’m a sick child that has a brother with autism, and I’m scared of almost everything, to see her and how she can do everything she wants to do … Why can’t I?”

Delle Donne, a Delaware native who serves as a Christiana Care spokeswoman, is no stranger to providing young children help. This summer, she turned the U.S womens basketball team’s gold medal win in Brazil into a win for babies born on that same day by gifting newborns at Christiana Hospital miniature green, fuzzy Nike Waffle 1 sneaks.

Nike and Delle Donne, Delaware’s first Summer Olympic gold medalist in 16 years, had promised to donate the kicks if her team took the gold.

 

Original Source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2016/12/07/elena-delle-donne-visit-seriously-ill-students/95051100/

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Delle Donne, Ambassador for Special Olympics

Via ESPN

Standing 7-feet tall and weighing 280 pounds, Andre Drummond is one of the most physically imposing big men in the NBA.

Put him in a gym with 400 Special Olympics athletes, and the Detroit PistonsAll-Star center turns into a little kid again.

Drummond, 23, was named as the newest Special Olympics ambassador on Thursday, and he celebrated his new role by hosting a pep rally and basketball clinic in Detroit.

“It’s a feeling you don’t forget. It’s a genuine look and genuine excitement,” Drummond said with a chuckle in a telephone interview. “They don’t see me as just a basketball player, they see me for who I am and the amount of time and effort I put into being a supporter of the movement.”

Drummond was first introduced to Special Olympics as a rookie when he attended an NBA Cares event. From that moment on, he was determined to be as involved as he could in promoting the cause and working with the athletes all over the world.

“Just seeing how much they love the game and the excitement they had just drew me to them,” Drummond said. “Year after year I continued to do it, and I tried to be more involved, and now it’s kind of like that next level being an international ambassador.”

Drummond joins other high-profile ambassadors such as Michael Phelps,Damian Lillard, Yao Ming and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne.

“Andre has experienced firsthand how sports can build fitness, confidence and skills among Special Olympics athletes and how playing unified and being unified can break down barriers and help build respect and inclusion in every neighboring school and community across the nation,” Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis said.

Unified programs work to pair students with and without intellectual disabilities for education and sports.

As much as Drummond enjoys playing basketball with those he met on Thursday, he said the real experience comes in the conversations and interactions away from the court.

“Anybody can shoot and throw the ball around,” he said. “But when you get the time to really speak to them and hear their stories and see the kinds of personalities they have, it’s something you can’t really describe. You have to be there for the moment.”

Original Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/17966083/andre-drummond-detroit-pistons-named-ambassador-special-olympics

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Elena Delle Donne’s woodworking skills are almost as impressive as her game on the court

Courtesy of ESPNW:

In “some people have all the talent” news, prepare to feel really unaccomplished, thanks to Elena Delle Donne’s latest Instagram post.

The 2015 WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist is, you know, pretty good at the whole basketball thing, but she’s also really good at woodworking. Like, really good. This likely comes as no surprise for anyone who follows her (or her burgeoning business) on social media, but if you aren’t aware of her skills, please cast your eyes on the picture of her most recent table tops below.

elena-woodwork

WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD AT EVERYTHING, ELENA?

 

Original Source: http://www.espn.com/espnw/culture/the-buzz/article/17832823/elena-delle-donne-woodworking-skills-almost-impressive-game-court

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