Elena Delle Donne has been a basketball phenom since her days at Ursuline Academy, leading the high school to three straight Delaware State Championships. As she entered college, she did what everyone expected her to do and accepted a scholarship to be the next generation of the Connecticut Huskies‘ traditional powerhouse. But, in an unexpected turn, Delle Donne left UConn – and the game of basketball as a whole – to return home in Delaware to be closer to family friends. College kids get homesick and transfer all the time, but rarely do you see top-flight student-athletes change their minds so quickly.
Delle Donne returned home, and eventually to the game she loves, at the University of Delaware. Without the tradition and recruits and titles, the road to ultimate NCAA success proved to be tougher than what she probably would’ve encountered with Connecticut. However, during her career, she has amassed the kind of statistics expected from a player of her caliber: on Tuesday, the young athlete earned herself the 3,000th point of her career in a 78-69 win against North Carolina. Now, in the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, Delle Donne and the Blue Hens have qualified for the team’s first Sweet 16. Their next game will be against second-seeded Kentucky, and if the chips fall correctly she could have a shot to bring her career full circle in an Elite Eight game versus No. 1 seed UConn in the regional final.