For the first time ever Delaware will host a WNBA game as the Chicago Sky host the Washington Mystics in a preseason battle at the Bob Carpenter Center. All eyes will be on the homecoming of Delaware native, and University of Delaware alumna, Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky as she returns to the court in her home state for the first time since 2013. Delle Donne played for the Blue Hens from 2009-2013 and left Delaware as one of the most decorated athletes in school history.
Chicago (1-1) heads to Delaware following two games in the first-ever WNBA Preseason Tournament in Orlando. The Sky beat the Indiana Fever before falling to the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx in the tournament finale. Through two preseason games Elena Delle Donne leads all Sky scorers averaging 10.5 points per game. Sequoia Holmes and Sasha Goodlett have each had impressive performances in their first two games with the Sky, averaging 7.5 points per game.
Second round draft pick Gennifer Brandon grabbed a career-high 8 rebounds to help the Sky outrebound the Lynx 43-34. With the additions of Holmes, Goodlett, Brandon and the first round draft pick Markeisha Gatling, teams have been struggling to keep the Sky's athletic frontcourt off the boards. Chicago was aggressive on the offensive glass against the Lynx last game and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds.
Last year the Sky played Washington five times during the regular season. The Sky won the series 4-1. In the September 8 match, their last of the season, Elena Delle Donne led all scorers with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Ivory Latte led Washington with 18 points but the Mystics did not have an answer for the hot shooting Epiphanny Prince. Prince poured in 21 points on 78 percent shooting for the night. She closed the game with five 3-pointers to help the Sky pull away to a 93-79 victory.
The Sky finished the 2013 regular season with a 24-10 record the best in the Eastern Conference. Elena Delle Donne was named 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year and finished the year with the best free throw percentage in WNBA history (.929). Delle Donne also became the first rookie in WNBA history to win the All-Star vote. Sylvia Fowles was awarded the 2013 WNBA Defensive Player of the Yea for anchoring the Sky defense that allowed the fourth-fewest points per game (73.59) in the league last season. She was also second in the WNBA in blocks per game (2.44) and led the WNBA with 11.5 rebounds per game.
With the tremendous support of the Delaware faithful, Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky will look to improve upon last year's breakthrough season in what is sure to be an electric environment.
"We want a WNBA Championship and we won't be satisfied until we get one."
-Chicago Sky forward, Elena Delle Donne