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July 29, 2016: Team USA's Elena Delle Donne (11) during an international women's exhibition basketball game between Team USA and Canada at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Elena Delle Donne has usually shied away from questions about her relationships in the past, In the last few months she has been more open about sharing her personal life through pictures on social media, many of which featured her fiancee, Amanda Clifton.
She discussed her relationship with Clifton in the August issue of Vogue. She answered questions Wednesday night when news of the story first became public.
"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," the reigning WNBA MVP said. "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 and that's that."
Delle Donne said that she had a lot of time to wait before the article went public, saying the interview was done months ago. She and Clifton got engaged on June 2.
"I decided I'm not at all going to hide anything," Delle Donne said. "The biggest thing is respecting Amanda's privacy as well. She's not on the stage, she doesn't need to be interviewed and I don't want her to have to feel that way. As the future keeps moving on, I don't plan on having our relationship out in the public and all this media on it, but obviously there's excitement right now because people see it for the first time."
Clifton has served as director of the De11e Donne Academy, a basketball clinic for girls, since 2014.
Delle Donne isn't the first WNBA player to publicly announce her sexually. U.S. Olympic teammate Sue Bird was happy that it seemed almost an afterthought to league's reigning MVP.
"I think that's probably the best part of the story. It's not a huge deal anymore," Bird said. "From a society standpoint we want to get to a place where it's not a big deal. You want to be in a place where you don't have to make an announcement. To me it's not a big deal, but for her I feel great that she was able to announce it."