Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Maya's WNBA Chicago Scene: Elena Delle Donne Quickly Brings Sunshine to the Windy City

(Guru's note: At the outset of the collegiate season last winter, Maya Goldberg-Safir, a one-time player entering her senior semesters at Middlebury College in Vermont who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area somewhere near Princeton Niveen Rasheed country in Northern California, took interest in joining both the USBWA and Guru blogerette cause.

She joined us recently at the NCAA Women's Final Four in New Orleans and as it evolved is now spending some brief time in Chicago, where the Guru deputized her to be on the case of former Delaware sensation Elena Delle Donne's WNBA rookie debut with the Chicago Sky.

Maya was at both home games this past weekend and ironically as the Guru stopped at the I-95 rest stop right near the Delaware campus Sunday night on the way back from his game in Washington -- see below this post -- a dispatch arrived with Maya's impressions.

So here they are -- Mel )

By Maya Goldberg-Safir

"They look hungry....we've been starving for several years now." - WNBA Chicago Sky coach Pokey Chatman.

CHICAGO -- That's right - the Chicago Sky look ready to tear into a league that has left them empty-bellied far too many times in recent years.

And Elena Delle Donne is leading the charge, completely outdoing both Griner and Diggins in their WNBA rookie debuts.

I know there's been a media storm constantly showering you constantly with the latest 3 to See promos, and yes, that one EDD commercial seems to be looping on repeat.

And after seeing her in person twice this weekend, I think that Elena Delle Donne deserves our praise, now more than ever.

With two great games this weekend - during which EDD scored a total of 35 points - the Chicago Sky have already rolled past former Baylor star Brittney Griner, the number one overall pick of the Phoenix Mercury, and former Notre Dame sensation Skylar Diggins, who went third to the Tulsa Shock.

But the numbers won't tell you about the fact that EDD looks as much at ease with her teammates as anyone else on the roster.

If anyone was worried about EDD playing so far from home, fear not - she has a steady determination and confidence that could make even a veteran look like they just stumbled in off the playground. (By the way, is it safe to assume that any doubts about EDD's 'maturity' have been squashed forever? Sure hope so.)

Hundreds miles from home, the star from Delaware reminds us that she may be the quietest of the Big Three, but she harbors her own uncommon spark - offensive genius.

EDD was the most dynamic player on the court this weekend, period.

With her lanky (but not awkward!) 6'5'' frame, a 45% shooting record from beyond the arc, and an ever improving repertoire of scoring threats, the Sky's #2 draft pick is nearly impossible to guard.

And despite her physical gifts, EDD is not one to give up or let the game fly by her. She is scrappy, constantly willing her body to do the impossible - hook shots, step back three's, penetrating drives, wrap around passes.

It's exciting to watch, and not in any kind of easy way. And this is why I am so thrilled about Elena Delle Donne: her dynamic play challenges fans to keep up, too. To not change the channel. To show up to the arena and witness her magic in person.

So knock-knock, Chicago. EDD has arrived, and I hope the people of this city realize what's in their midst - greatness.

They've seen some pretty good basketball before, right? Well, it's time to open your eyes, windy city. Blink and believe it. Elena Delle Donne is the real deal.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Sad thing is the WNBA is in tis last seasons and we will never really see her grow here in America.

Alos interesting that two of the three are not exactly exstatic over being two of the Three to See, wishing instead to be given time to grow into that hype.

Mike Siroky/Guru SEC & Big Ten

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