Elena Delle Donne, the top senior in the country, will be at the Nike Tournament of Champions, but will not play in the elite high-school event.
The Connecticut-bound, 6-foot-4 guard had a diagnosis of mononucleosis confirmed late last week. She said she cannot resume play until her enlarged spleen and liver functions improve.
Delle Donne's absence naturally strikes a huge blow at the fortunes of Ursuline Academy, the Wilmington, Del.-based school ranked No. 11 in the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 and No. 23 by Full Court Press. Ursuline opens the TOC on Wednesday against Sequoyah of Oklahoma, which is ranked No. 9 by Full Court Press and features point guard Angel Goodrich, a Kansas signee ranked No. 48 in the HoopGurlz Hundred for the class of 2008.
The TOC, held annually in Chandler, Ariz., has been a veritable national showcase for Delle Donne, who otherwise has missed much of the past two summer NCAA evaluation periods. Last year, she decided to take a break from the sport; the year before, a high ankle sprain shelved Delle Donne until the summer-concluding Nike Nationals.
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