Laurie Bollig

Loyalty never an issue with Delle Donne and Hulls

by Laurie Bollig April 08, 2013 in Women's Basketball

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Delaware All-American Elena Delle Donne considered leaving her home state for the bright lights of a much bigger women’s college basketball stage. Indiana guard Jordan Hulls committed to his hometown team in the midst of a monumental rebuilding period.

Delle Donne signed with Connecticut out of high school, but after two days on campus, she longed to be closer to her family, including a sister with whom she shares an unbreakable bond. The easy choice would have been for her to remain at UConn and enjoy what would surely be NCAA championships and national accolades. But Delle Donne never shied away from the responsibility of being there for Lizzie, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Delle Donne, a four-time All-American and three-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, led the Blue Hens to a 32-4 overall record this season with back-to-back CAA titles. She ranked second in the nation with 26 points per game and has scored 30 or more points in eight games this season. She holds CAA career records for points, field goals, free throws, and blocks and is the fifth leading scorer in NCAA history with 3,039 points.

A human services major with a 3.63 grade point average, Delle Donne has twice been named the recipient of the Capital One Academic All-America® of the Year award. Delle Donne is active in many team community service activities, including visits to A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital and working with Delaware Special Olympics.

Hulls was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball at Bloomington South High School and led his team to a perfect 26-0 season and a state championship as a senior. While he was starring in high school, his beloved Hoosiers were suffering through one of the worst seasons in school history, going 6-25 in coach Tom Crean’s first year. Hulls’ commitment to IU never wavered despite the overhaul the program would likely face over the next four years.

A two-time All-Big Ten selection, Hulls ranked second in the conference in three-point shooting percentage at 45 percent. Indiana finished the 2012-13 regular season ranked fourth in the Associated Press poll and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Hulls has played more games than any other player in Indiana University history, passing the 133-game record held by Randy Wittman and Jeff Newton.

During his career, Hulls was recognized as an Academic All-American and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. While in college, Hulls worked to help people become more physically fit. He worked with patients recovering from cardiac issues and also encouraged faculty members in need of beginning a healthy lifestyle.

Delle Donne’s commitment to her family was rock solid. Hulls’ commitment to his hometown school never wavered. Both have proven throughout their careers that home is where their hearts are.