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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Elena Delle Donne traded from Chicago Sky to the Washington Mystics
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2017-01-30

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The Elena Delle Donne Era in Chicago is officially over, ending much speculation of late on the superstar's future with the Sky.

Chicago traded Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP, to the Washington Mystics, Sky owner Michael Alter confirmed to The New York Times on Jan. 30.

Delle Donne, 27, has played her entire four-year career for the Sky, averaging about 20 points and 7 rebounds per game. She won the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year award, is a three-time All-Star and the 2015 WNBA scoring champion.

The Sky will receive All-Star center Stefanie Dolson, rookie guard Kahleah Copper and the No. 2 pick in this year's draft, which will be held in April. San Antonio has the No. 1 pick.

Delle Donne, who announced just before the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio that she is gay and engaged to longtime partner Amanda Clifton, said in December that she would be willing to sit out the 2017 season if the Sky did not agree to trade her.

Delle Donne wanted to be closer to her hometown of Wilmington, Del., and also was unhappy with her current team, the Chicago Tribune reported days before the trade.

Delle Donne had become discouraged by the "revolving door" in Chicago, the Tribune reported, as players and coaches have left the team or were fired. The Sky dismissed head coach Pokey Chatman this past October and saw three assistants leave within the last year.

"I'm happy for her," said WNBA fan Robin Lee. "She's not happy anymore in Chicago, and she wants to be closer to her family. Fortunately her MVP level of play has provided her with some leverage. More power to her, and I wish her all the best. Now two teams, the Sky and the Mystics have an opportunity for growth and improvement. Can't wait for the season to start."

Amber Stocks, in mid-December, was named the Sky's new head coach and general manager, replacing Chatman, who spent six seasons in Chicago.

"We are extremely excited to hand over the leadership of the team to Amber. Amber brings a youthful, positive energy along with a wealth of basketball knowledge. Her passion for the game and for teaching and developing players, along with her work ethic, communication skills, intellect and curiosity, separated her from the other candidates," said Sky owner Michael Alter in a statement. "She brings essential experience from assisting the evolution of the Los Angeles Sparks from contenders to champions."

Stocks had been an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks, and also has past coaching experience in the college game.

As a player, Stocks attended the University of Cincinnati, where she was named Defensive Player of the Year in three out of her four seasons.

"She wanted to go back home, to be closer to her sister," Chicago fan Marcia Hill said of Delle Donne. "[The Sky is] getting two pretty good players [in return] plus the No. 2 [overall draft] pick. The Sky definitely got something for her."


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