WILMINGTON – Seven former athletes and coaches comprise the inaugural inductees into the Ursuline Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. They will be honored at a brunch at Ursuline on Sunday, April 26.
The inductees – six of whom are alumnae of the school – represent a cross section of sports, including basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and softball.
“We are thrilled to start this new tradition at Ursuline,” says Cathie Field Lloyd, Ursuline Academy president. “The Hall of Fame is a way to honor and celebrate the athletes and coaches that have contributed to our success and paved the way for our current students and future generations of young female athletes.”
The inductees are:
• Laura Lange Capodanno, Class of 1946. Capodanno was at the forefront of girls high school athletics as an administrator, teacher and coach. “Mrs. Cap” was one of the first female athletic directors in the region, and she led the Raiders to state basketball titles in 1974 and ’75. She was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame five years later.
• Karen Conlin, Class of 1974. Conlin was a three-sport varsity athlete and captain of the 1974 basketball state champions. She went on to be a four-year starter for the University of Delaware. Conlin also played a year of college softball and was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
• Elena Delle Donne, Class of 2008. Delle Donne led the Ursuline basketball team to national prominence during her five years as a starter. The Raiders won four titles during that time, and Delle Donne was named a McDonald’s All-American while being recruited by the top collegiate programs in the country. She is the only Raider to score more than 2,000 points and set a girls national high school record by hitting 80 consecutive free throws in 2005-06. She also played volleyball for the Raiders. She continued her athletic career at Delaware, leading the Blue Hens to two NCAA tournaments. The second pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, she plays for the Chicago Sky.
• Helen Doherty, Class of 1954. Doherty was a trailblazer for women’s sports, becoming the first female athlete on a boys Catholic Youth Organization team. She played basketball, softball and track at Ursuline before going on to a career in semipro basketball and 25 years of softball. She also founded the basketball program at Ursuline and coached the program from 1955-71.
• Kate Mills, Class of 2004. Mills excelled in volleyball and basketball for the Raiders, being named the state Gatorade Player of the Year in both sports in 2004. That same year, she earned first-team all-state honors in both. A 1,000-point scorer in basketball, she continued her career at the University of Massachusetts, serving as a three-year captain. Mills played professionally in Spain and Portugal for six years. She is now a civil engineer for the city of Dover and offers free basketball skills training and counseling for young women in Delaware and Spain.
• Louis Olivere. Olivere is one of the most accomplished track and field coaches in the state, leading the program at Ursuline for more than 20 years. During that time, the Raiders won 12 state track titles and three cross country championships. He was named state coach of the year five times. He is a member of the Delaware Track Hall of Fame (2010) and continues to volunteer at meets, as well as mentor young athletes.
• Val Whiting-Raymond, Class of 1989. Whiting-Raymond was one of the great high school basketball players of the 1980s and was the first athlete from Delaware to play in the WNBA. At Ursuline, she was the three-time state player of the year, scoring 1,347 points in her career. She went on to Stanford University, where the Cardinal won two national championships. Whiting-Raymond graduated as Stanford’s second-leading scorer and leader in rebounds and blocks, earning a place in the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame. She played overseas as well as in the American Basketball League and the WNBA.
Tickets to the inaugural brunch are $50 and must be purchased in advance. Reservation forms will be available on the Ursuline website (www.ursuline.org).