Elena Delle Donne is only 26 years old and she’s already widely considered one of the best basketball players to ever appear in the WNBA.
She was Rookie of the Year in 2013, MVP in 2015 and she’s been an All-Star every season she played in the league. She’s currently on the road with the US Women’s Summer Olympic Team as they prep for the tournament in Rio; and, on Friday, they beat the Canadian team by 40 points
As I write this article
, she has career averages of 20.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. She’s a 93% free throw shooter with a .453 field goal percentage, and that stat has steadily improved every single season she’s appeared professionally.
She also happens to be gay.
We know this because she came out this week during an interview with Vogue magazine. As several publications noted, the announcement was made with “little fanfare
“. In fact, E-D-D (as fans call her) didn’t really “come out”, she just mentioned she was engaged, and her fiancÚ happens to be a woman.
The All-Star never really made a big deal out of it, but the media jumped all over the story. Really, it’s interesting that this became such a big story, considering the only reference that was made about sexuality during the Vogue interview was this excerpt (via OutSports
“Elena divides her time between traveling with her team, the Chicago Sky, and her family’s home in the rolling green landscape of Wilmington, Delaware. She and her fiancee, Amanda Clifton, keep apartments in both Chicago and Wilmington.”
Of course, the news spread quickly. The Chicago Tribune
ran a follow-up interview with Elena which came out earlier today. She was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing:
“I’ve grown up in a family where I have the most unique sister in the world and we’ve always been taught to celebrate uniqueness. It was easy for me to be who I am and hopefully others can be who they are as well… I decided I’m not at all going to hide anything. The biggest thing is respecting Amanda’s privacy as well. She’s not on the stage, she doesn’t need to be interviewed and I don’t want her to have to feel that way. As the future keeps moving on, I don’t plan on having our relationship out in the public”
And that’s pretty much the final word on the subject. Back in March
of this year, Elena said she couldn’t wait “for the day where people want to talk about your skills on the court and not your looks”, a day when people would define her not as a “female basketball player” but just a basketball player… So I’m going to try and respect her wishes.
Elena Delle Donne is a great basketball player. Elena Delle Donne is a great basketball player who is kicking ass with the Women’s Olympic team. She’s a great basketball player who is kicking ass with the Women’s Olympic team and also happens to be marrying another woman. And I wish her the best of luck.