Nation's top recruit Delle Donne withdraws from UConn

Updated: August 20, 2008, 12:18 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Elena Delle Donne, who was the top-rated women's basketball player in the 2008 recruiting class, has decided not to attend Connecticut, the school announced Saturday.

[+] EnlargeElena Delle Donne
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesElena Delle Donne, playing the McDonald's All-American game, has decided not to play at UConn.

"I have been recently informed that Elena Delle Donne has decided not to play college basketball and will not enroll at the University of Connecticut," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Everyone at UConn would like to wish Elena the best of luck."

Auriemma and the school said they will have no further comment on the matter, "in an effort to respect the privacy of Elena and the Delle Donne family."

Delle Donne had enrolled in the summer classes at UConn before abruptly withdrawing two days into the session in early June.

In a statement Monday, Delle Donne said she would enroll at the University of Delaware this fall.

"Both UConn and I require a 100-percent dedication to the sport, and as of now I feel I cannot give that level of commitment," she said in the release. "It therefore would be unfair to the excellent program, Coach Geno Auriemma, the team, and UConn fans for me to play."

"I have a lot of personal issues to fix," Delle Donne said at the time. "Only my family understands what's going on. Right now I am going to take a long personal break."

The 6-foot-5 Delle Donne, 18, was chosen as the nation's top female player this spring, winning the Naismith National High School Player of the Year award based on her career at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, Del.

She averaged 30 points and 11 rebounds last season, despite missing 10 games because of mononucleosis. She was also Delaware's career leading scorer for boys and girls with 2,818 points.

"She's so good," former UConn All-American Kara Wolters told the Connecticut Post. "What a waste. It's the most bizarre thing I've ever heard. To have an opportunity like that to play, obviously, at the best college women's program in the world ... and she threw it away.

"Geno said, 'I thought I had seen it all at Connecticut until this.' It's like an engaged couple. You're glad they broke up before they got married and had to have a divorce."

Della Donne would have been the third consecutive national player of the year to attend UConn, following Tina Charles in 2006 and Maya Moore last season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.