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August 05, 2016

Ex-Delaware basketball star Elena Delle Donne comes out, announces engagement to woman

The first-time Olympian talks openly about her fiancee Amanda Clifton in an upcoming story in Vogue magazine

Former University of Delaware basketball star and first-time Olympian Elena Delle Donne is used to making headlines, but this week the positive press has been on more than the Chicago Sky forward/guard's talent on the court.

In an interview with Vogue magazine for an August feature, the reigning WNBA MVP publicly shared her sexuality and announced she is engaged to a woman, Amanda Clifton, who also played college basketball.

News on her formal coming out has since made national headlines, including in the Chicago Tribune, which interviewed Jim Buzinski, the co-founder of, a website devoted to LGBT issues in sports.

Buzinski told the Tribune that Delle Donne’s announcement is an important moment for the LGBT community.

“She’s a major star and she’s going to be on the Olympic team and she’s open about her sexual orientation; she’s with a woman,” Buzinski reportedly said. “To me that’s a wonderful bit of news because it’s still rare, even in women’s sports, to find that.”

But based on subsequent interviews, Delle Donne said sharing her sexuality wasn’t meant to make a big impact.

"It was just one of those articles where they came into my home, spent a couple days with me and Amanda is a huge part of my life," she's since told The Associated Press.  "So to leave her out wouldn't have made any sense. It's not a coming out article or anything. I've been with her for a very long time now and people who are close to me know that."

Delle Donne said she and Clifton got engaged June 2.

"I don't plan on having our relationship out in the public and ... media on it," Delle Donne said, "but obviously there's excitement right now because people see it for the first time."

The AP contributed to this report.