2-Time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne is Taking a Break From Basketball

Elena Delle Donne with Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Elena Delle Donne with Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photo by Roland Hoskins/ANL/Shutterstock (9041417a)

Two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne is taking a break from basketball. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Delle Donne won’t sign the one-year core designation contract with the Washington Mystics and will sit out the 2024 WNBA season.

Reportedly, Delle Donne, who was set to become a free agent after the 2023 campaign, informed the Mystics that she is unsure about her plans for the future. The 34-year-old player dealt with a number of injuries in recent years and wanted to take time to consider her options.

The franchise opted to place a core designation on Delle Donne, meaning that the only team she could play for in the 2024 season is the Mystics. In case Delle Donne sits out the 2024 campaign entirely, the Washington team will be able to do the same for the 2025 season in case she decides to return.

According to Shelburne, it is unclear how long Delle Donne intends to stay away from basketball or whether she intends to play again. 

Elena Delle Donne was drafted second overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky. She spent four years with the Sky, winning 2015 WNBA MVP honors and receiving three All-Star nods, before being traded to the Mystics ahead of the 2017 season.

While in Washington, Delle Donne won another WNBA MVP award and added four All-Star selections to her resume. She was also part of the Mystics team that won the franchise’s first WNBA championship in 2019.

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