No time like the playoffs

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For Elena Delle Donne, trying to win a championship is what sports is all about.

When I hear the word "playoffs," so many things come to mind. I am reminded of the postseason runs I made with previous teams, the unforgettable wins and the heartbreaking losses. As I remember these experiences and look ahead to the start of the WNBA playoffs, I remember why I love this sport so much.

I play basketball because I am a competitor. I have an undying will to win and I hate to lose. With all of this in mind, I can't begin to explain the extent of my excitement for this postseason. I have the opportunity to compete with and against the best women's basketball players in the world, who share this same love of competition.

The playoffs aren't just a time of the year or a part of the basketball season. To me, the playoffs are a feeling, a time when the focus and intensity increase as the stakes also increase. Now, it's a matter of winning and advancing, or losing and calling it an end to the season.

My first WNBA season has been nothing short of amazing. With that said, I am fully aware that I will never be able to have my rookie season back. I will never have another "first season," and I am using this as fuel for the playoffs.

My team has experienced so many franchise milestones this year: the first winning season, the first playoff appearance, franchise attendance records, among other things. While my teammates and I are extremely proud of these accomplishments, we are far from satisfied. We are motivated by and aware of the fact that there is still work to be done. Honestly, I feel lucky to have so much more ahead for a few reasons.

First, and above all, is the obvious: I am in a position to compete for a WNBA championship title. As an athlete, this is the ultimate goal. But in addition to this obvious cause of my excitement, I also feel lucky that I am able to continue this season with my teammates and my coaches. When I was drafted to the Chicago Sky, I was immediately surrounded by the most supportive and motivating teammates and staff. Throughout this entire season, I have felt nothing but support from my team, and the playoffs are an opportunity to extend my time with these amazing people.

The playoffs are an opportunity to continue to compete for a championship with people who have become like family. There's no time like playoff time. GO SKY!!

Until next time,

Elena