Sunday, October 19, 2008

Delle Donne feature

The Washington Post has a very good feature on what former hoopster Elene Delle Donne is doing now. After leaving UConn at the start of the summer and then turning down her scholarship in August, Delle Donne went to Delaware where she is nowing playing volleyball. And it sounds like she is having a really great time. Not surprising. I mean she gets to play a sport that she seemingly likes, for a female coach who is happy to have to her, at a school not stuck in the middle of nowhere and where she can actually mingle with other students as a regular student-athlete. Makes sense to me.
I hope this article and Delle Donne's story reaches parents and other young athletes. Specialization is not a good thing. Delle Donne said she was burnt out on basketball by age 14 or 15. And her parents weren't even pushing her into the sport. Perhaps that is why she was able to walk away. And she may walk back some day. But at least it will be on her terms.

5 comments:

Helen said...

"I mean she gets to play a sport that she seemingly likes, for a female coach who is happy to have to her, at a school not stuck in the middle of nowhere and where she can actually mingle with other students as a regular student-athlete."

Hmmm.... having followed the EDD recruitment process, I wonder at these comments. All indications are that EDD loved Geno (her sister took an instant liking to her). Sure, Storrs is an hour away from Hartford, a couple from Boston, and 3 from NYC, but you could say the same for Deleware. And, having been on campus in the company of Taurasi at the height of her Junior year, I can assure you that the athletes mingle.

As for the other part about specialization, I couldn't agree more. But, that being said, I haven't seen ANYthing written about it on the men's side.... I wonder if it's being overlooked, ignored, or women's choices are being highlighted (for whatever reason.)

Glad EDD made the decision she needed to make and glad Auriemma handled it the way he did. It would be wonderful to have her as part of the women's game, but more wonderful to have her happy.

Helen said...

him. took an instant liking to HIM. sheesh, there's jet lag and then there's JET lag... sigh.

ken said...

Well my comments clearly reflect my dislike of Geno.
But having been to both Newark and Storrs I have to say, Newark any day of the week. I agree that proximity to larger cities is important but you don't go there every day--you don't even go every weekend. There's nothing in Storrs. It does not seem like a pleasant undergrad experience when you are limited to what's on campus because the town has not kept pace with the growth of the school.
Your experience about athletes being part of the campus community is not the story I heard when I was in Storrs. And it's not the experience of most DI athletes who are very isolated with the exception of attending classes.
And finally, there is work being done on specialization of young male athletes. Actually most of the empirical evidence I come across is about boys.

jfb said...

I think Storrs is a good environment for graduate students who are serious about coursework, but it does not offer much for undergraduates in terms of opportunities for social interaction anywhere except on campus. I was disappointed that EDD didn't come to UConn, but I would have been more disappointed if she had come to UConn and her heart wasn't in it. I'm not a big fan of Geno, but I think his staff handled this situation pretty well.

ken said...

I agree that her departure was handled extremely well by everyone at UConn and beyond (media, etc.). I think, or I hope, her choices made an impression on coaches and others involved in intercollegiate athletics. I think it is significant that the #1 recruit chose something different from what everyone was offering; what they though/think she and others want/wanted.