Elena Delle Donne is a WNBA superstar, and off the court sh’es a dog lover as well.
Washington Mystics guard/forward Elena Delle Donne has made headlines recently, as our FanSided Network sister site High Post Hoops details, but off the court she’s a big-time advocate for rescue dogs as well.
She and her wife Amanda have two dogs, a Great Dane named Wrigley that Elena adopted her rookie WNBA season, and Amanda’s rescue pupper named Rasta, who helped with their proposal.
“Growing up I always had a thing for big dogs,” Delle Donne told NBC Sports Washington, “I think me being pretty tall my whole life I liked Great Danes, they kind of made me feel like it was like me.”
She certainly is tall – 6 feet 5 inches, so that makes sense that a Great Dane would make her feel valued and accepted. As she explained to NBC Sports Washington, she thinks Wrigley would be a Shaquille O’Neal-style center if he played basketball, while Rasta, being smaller, agile and bossy, would be a point guard.
As is often the case with celebrity puppers, Wrigley has his own Instagram account (the handle is @TheWrigleyDelleDonne).
Delle Donne recently did a PSA with PETA several months ago, urging more adoptions from shelters and rescue organizations.
On the court, Delle Donne, who was the second pick of the 2013 WNBA draft by the Chicago Sky, has twice been named the league MVP and led the Mystics to their first championship last season.
She played varsity basketball and volleyball in college at the University of Delaware, leading the Blue Hens to conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in both sports.
She was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in high school, so she filed an opt-out request to avoid the 2020 WNBA season due to a heightened chance of catching COVID-19.. This request was puzzlingly denied by the league, leaving her status this year unclear.
Delle Donne was also a member of the undefeated Team USA squad that won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
Per Basketball Reference, her WNBA career averages include 20.3 points per game, seven rebounds per game and just under two assists per game.
The Mystics are owned by Monumental Sports Group, the same ownership group as the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and so are helping raise Monumental’s team service dog-in-training Scout.
While Elena Delle Donne’s dogs are amazing, we hope she will sit out this season, as playing a sport is no reason to risk contracting a novel and potentially life-threatening virus.
If you have any pictures of your basketball dogs you’d want to share with us (or your dogs being cute doing anything), shoot us a message on the Dog O’Day Instagram account (our handle is @DogODayFS), along with some basic information, and we might share it. We’re also on Facebook at “Daily Dog,” so give us a follow there, too, please.