LOS ANGELES -- University of Delaware All-American Elena Delle
Donne, who capped one of the finest seasons in the history of collegiate
women's basketball this past season, was honored Monday evening as one of three finalists for the Honda Cup Collegiate
Woman Athlete of the Year Award.
The winner of the Honda Cup was softball Player of the Year Keilani
Ricketts, who led her University of Oklahoma team to the national
championship two weeks ago. Delle Donne, who was named the winner of the
Honda Cup for women's basketball back in April,
and Louisiana State national track & field sprint champion
Kimberlynn Duncan were the other two finalists.
The annual event was held at the University of Southern
California's Galen Center and was televised live nationally on ESPNU.
Delle Donne, currently in her first season with the WNBA's Chicago Sky,
was not able to attend due to team commitments. Delle
Donne was on hand at last year's ceremony when she was honored with the
Honda Inspiration Award.
Other individual sport Honda Sports Award winners who were honored Monday
were Allyson Fournier of Ashland (Division III), Kara Cannizzaro
of North Carolina (lacrosse), Kari Daugherty of Tufts (Division II),
Nicole Gibbs of Stanford (tennis), Annie Parks
of USC (golf), Bridget Sloan of Florida (gymnastics), Allison Schmitt
of Georgia (swimming & diving), Alaina Bergsma of Oregon
(volleyball), Crystal Dunn of North Carolina (soccer), Katie Reinprecht
of Princeton (field hockey), Betsy Saina of Iowa State (cross
country), and women's basketball player Andrea "Drey" Mingo of Purdue
Honda has been a sponsor of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for
27 years. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided
more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of
the award winners and nominees to support women's
athletics programs at the institutions.
Delle Donne became just the fourth student-athlete in University of
Delaware history to earn his or her sport's national Player of the Year
award and the first since 1999 when John Grant was named the U.S.
Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Player
of the Year. Delaware's Audie Kujala was named the Association of
Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Softball Player of
the Year in 1977 and Kevin Mench was selected as the Player of the Year
by Collegiate Baseball Magazine in 1998.
"I am honored to be receiving this award," said Delle Donne back in
April. "I want to thank all of the people who had a part in selecting
me as the recipient. It is truly humbling to be chosen as the premier
player in women's college basketball this year.
I feel blessed to be a part of the Collegiate Women's Sports Awards
family. I am extremely grateful to be receiving an award that stands for
excellence in sports and highlights women's accomplishments."
Delle Donne, a native of Wilmington, Del. (Ursuline Academy),
ranked second in the nation with 26.0 points per game and scored 30 or
more points in eight games this past season. She helped lead the Blue
Hens to a 32-4 overall record and an NCAA Sweet 16
appearance for the first time in school history. A four-time
All-American and three-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the
Year, she holds the CAA career records for points, field goals, free
throws, and blocked shots, and her 3,039 career points
placed her fifth all-time in NCAA history. She also owns 11 University
of Delaware career records as well as numerous season and single game
"We are all very proud of Elena on her selection as the Honda Award
winner as the top women's basketball player in the country," said
Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who led the Blue Hens to the
NCAA Tournament for the second straight year in 2013 and
for the fourth time in her tenure. "This prestigious honor is something
I know Elena will cherish for the rest of her life. The award
culminates an incredible year for Elena and brings national attention to
our women's basketball program here at the University
Delle Donne, who earned her degree in human services from UD this
spring, was also a two-time Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American of
the Year for women's basketball, a two-time CAA Women's Basketball
Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and the CAA overall
Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012. She is the CAA's nominee for the
prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which will be presented in