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Life Lessons

When It’s Not Fun Anymore

Elena Della Donne has found happiness on the basketball court again, and as a result, she has made thousands of Delaware basketball fans ecstatic.

Della Donne, a prized recruit who walked away from basketball and briefly turned to volleyball, has regained her passion for hoops. She described the process recently in an interview with the Associated Press.

“I can’t wait for the season to start, especially games,” she said. “The last time I was this happy was in high school before the whole recruiting thing started. Basketball just wasn’t basketball anymore.”

Della Donne said it wasn’t burnout that made her leave the University of Connecticut, even though that’s what she called it at the time. Instead, she emphasized the absence from her family, particularly her sister Lizzie, who is blind, deaf and has cerebral palsy.

Even so, her saga is a caution to all coaches to look for signs of burnout and to kep the game fun. It’s also a reminder of the emotions and motivations that reside within everyone.

In speaking with high school students and their families, I tell them to pursue a perfect fit instead of a prestige college. The student is the one who must wake up every morning on campus, and eat in the dining halls, and attend classes.

Why do all that just to fulfill someone else’s dreams and expectations?

Meantime, ticket sales for University of Delaware games have soared, as people look forward to seeing what a happy Elena Della Donne can do.


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