Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky are coming to the University of Delaware for another preseason game.
Delle Donne, the former UD All-American and the 2015 WNBA most valuable player, will return May 1 when the Sky faces the New York Liberty.
Tip-off is 2 p.m. at the Carpenter Center.
It’s the third straight year the Sky has played at Delaware. This year’s game will come several months before Delle Donne is likely to represent the United States at the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The Sky walloped the Washington Mystics 76-69 in front of 4,750 in 2014, with Delle Donne getting 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Last year’s game was played the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and attendance was 3,105 as the Sky beat the Liberty 83-55 as Delle Donne had 16 points and eight rebounds.
“Being several years removed from college and to see the continued support from fans in Delaware is absolutely unreal,” Delle Donne said in a Sky press release Tuesday. “I brag to my teammates all the time about Delaware and why it’s so special and every single time we come back, we feel loved.”
Delle Donne, a graduate of Wilmington’s Ursuline Academy, sparked Delaware to a 63-6 record her final two seasons – 2011-12 and 2012-13 — including a 42-0 record against Colonial Athletic Association foes. Delaware won its first NCAA Tournament game in 2012, when she was a junior, then downed West Virginia and North Carolina at the Carpenter Center with epic comebacks in front of sellout crowds her senior year. Delaware’s season ended in a Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Delle Donne scored 3,039 career points, fifth in NCAA Division I history at the time, despite missing 22 UD games because of illness or injuries.
She was then the No. 2 pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, and has enjoyed a stellar career despite being sidetracked by a back injury and a recurrence of Lyme Disease symptoms her second season.
“Delaware has become a second home for us,” Sky coach and general manager Pokey Chatman said in the statement. “The support we’ve received over the past three seasons has been unconditional. The Bob has become a familiar place for our players and an electric environment for WNBA basketball. This year, with the added excitement of Elena returning as MVP, will be very memorable.”