Athlete Tattoo of the Day: Elena Della Donne

Women's Basketball Headshots    As tattoos have become more mainstream, each one has become a symbol of something to each person.  It could represent commemorating an important event in life; or, it could represent honoring your heritage.  In some cases (more often than it should), it represents a bad decision ;-).  One of the best kinds is when the tattoo represents something truly, and legitimately, personal to that person.


   Former University of Delaware star (and Chicago Sky 1st round draft pick) Elena Della Donne definitely falls into that latter category with her body art.


   Elena took the scenic route to becoming the 2nd leading scorer in women’s college basketball history.  She was one the most highly recruited female players her senior year and, it seemed like Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut continued to enjoy their embarrassment of riches when they landed Della Donne in 2008.  However, the Delaware-born and raised roundballer left UConn after just two days on campus.  She was terribly homesick and felt burned out by basketball.  She talks about it in this ESPN “Outside the Lines” interview from 2012:

    One of the reasons for feeling so homesick was that she was separated from her older sister, Lizzie, who is deaf, blind, and suffers from cerebral palsy.


   Elena returned home to attend the University of Delaware, but did not play basketball that first year.  Instead, she fed her other athletic passion by joining the Blue Hens’ volleyball team and leading them to a the NCAA tournament in 2009.  After a year away from basketball, she returned to the hardwood for the 2009-2010 an embarked on a stunning career that allowed her to rank #2 in points and led Delaware to a surprise Sweet 16 showing her senior year.  Then she became the second over all pick in the 2013 WNBA draft.

2013 WNBA Draft and Portraits

    Being #2 seems to fit for Elena because her sister, Lizzie, has always been #1 in Elena’s life.  She dotes on Lizzie like a loving grandparent works tirelessly for charitable organizations dedicated to helping the disadvantaged like Lizzie.  To keep Lizzie in her mind and close to her heart at all times, Elena got a tattoo on her side of angel wings with Lizzie’s name.  It’s a constant reminder to Elena of what all her efforts are for.


    Elena’s story is one of the best inspirations for getting inked.  Here’s the Elena’s continued success at the professional level.

You can follow Elena on Twitter at:


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