Delle Donne Ready To Lead Duke

Leading up to his official visit to Duke this weekend, future Blue Devils Gene Delle Donne spoke with <i>TheDevilsDen.com</i> on a wide variety of topics. How does he feel about his Duke career? Will he red shirt? And what about his sister, who is widely considered the next big thing in women's basketball?

By now everyone knows the kind of player you are on the field, but what kind of person is Gene Delle Donne off the field?

I'm a real laid back and chill kind of guy. I love hanging out with my friends, playing golf and playing basketball with my sister -- stuff like that.

A golfer? When did you start playing?

I've been playing for awhile, but I didn't really start getting good until this past summer, I was out almost everyday with my dad, who's a scratch golfer.

You mentioned playing ball with your sister, who's nationally known now. Can you talk about what your relationship is like? Also, who wins in the one on one battles?

First things first: Yes, I take her all the time in one on one, we're both really competitive, so it's a lot of fun playing against her. She definitely makes me a stronger competitor.

With her getting a lot of attention now for her basketball ability, what type of role do you play?

Well, having been thru the recruiting process now, I'm always talking with her about the process and how to handle herself, but I'm at the point now where it's mostly support I give, because she's getting used to how it goes.

Describe yourself on the field?

I'm a lead by example guy, I let my actions speak for themselves out there.

Has anyone played a part in that development?

Well, my father and mother have been huge, they've taught me the right way and wrong way to be a leader. Also, Marty Barnes, my first football coach ever, laid the foundation as far as being a football player, the basics.

Shifting gears, can you talk about the approach Duke took with you?

Duke's approach was the most real approach out of any of the schools recruiting me. Coach Roof handled a lot of my recruitment personally, and the things that stood out about him was his loyalty, his encouraging nature with me as well as his current players; and that he's a family man. Besides that, Duke's a program on the rise, and I really liked the opportunity for early playing time.

A lot of recruits say Duke is on the rise. What does that mean, exactly?

I really liked their pitch about coming in and being a part of the class that helped change the face of Duke Football. I am looking forward to the competition of going in and trying to turn this team around, they've signed some good recruits and have a good looking team.

Are you planning on a red shirt season?

The Coaching Staff and I have discussed it and I'm not going to be red shirting, both Zack and I, and the other quarterbacks, are going to be competing.

What's your relationship like with Zack?

We met two years ago at Notre Dame camp and we hit it off, he's a great guy, we're both looking forward to the competition of practice in the summer.


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