Paw Prints

Elena Della Donne - HoopGurlz.comAs you all know by now, the UCONN Huskies women’s basketball team pulled off the coup of the year again by stealing away the nation’s top recruit in Elena Delle Donne from Tennessee. This marks the third year in a row the Huskies have scored the #1 recruit (2006-Tina Charles, 2007-Maya Moore, 2008-Delle Donne).

On Sunday, she told her parents she didn’t want to play ball in college. Then later that afternoon in the car with her mom, she had an “epiphany” and decided on UCONN. She explained her reasons to Glenn Nelson from

“All of a sudden, I just said, ‘I’m going to UConn.”

“In the back of my mind, I’d always thought UConn. But in the car with my mother, I was thinking of every reason that made UConn great. Why not go there? The reason the decision dragged out so long is that I loved the other schools so much. It was hard to break the ties with them.”

“I talked to [fellow recruit] Caroline Doty the whole time,” Delle Donne said. “She never forced me into anything. All she did was tell me all she knew about UConn and it really helped. It’s definitely comforting, knowing I’ll be going away to college with a close friend. I’ll get to see her family when they come to visit. It will still feel like home to me.”

“I loved Tennessee, but it was not the program for me,” Delle Donne said. “I have to be with players who complement me, and they just have so many recruits. It’s not so much anything negative about them, as it is that UConn is just the best fit. The players really complement me. The games will be so much closer to home. And I love Geno. He really recruits pieces to a puzzle instead of trying to get every recruit he can.”

This summer she self-imposed a hiatus from the game of basketball and the recruiting. The only time she touched a basketball was when she rebounded for her kids at the camp she was working at. She also found her love for the game she played during this time.

“I thought about it every day,” she said. “I wasn’t supposed to, but I couldn’t help it. Every time I thought about it, I got a sickening feeling. I knew that, no matter how much time I was away from the game, I still had this big decision to make about college.

“Now that I’ve made the decision, I know I want to play. There’s no question about it.”

I am sure this is absolutely eating Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt up. She loses Moore to UCONN women’s coach Geno Auriemma, then she cancels the series between the two teams. Well I hate to tell you his Pat, but Geno got the last word again.