Going home wasn't an immediate cure.
"I saw her on campus during her freshman year,'' Martin recalled. "She was walking with her head down, her shoulders were slumped. Talking to our volleyball coach, she told me the kid just really needs to be left alone. She said the kid is stressed out, she wants to enjoy college. Basketball has been such a burden for her, with so much pressure since the eighth grade.''
Delle Donne realized she didn't belong at Connecticut almost the instant she got there.
"The only thing I regret is how I left Connecticut. I didn't meet with the girls, I didn't meet with the coach. I just left,'' she said. "But I was 18, was panicked and did what I thought I had to do. Obviously, I can't change that now. Being grown up now, I would have done it differently. Other than that, no regrets.''
Now that Delle Donne is playing basketball again, she holds her head high on campus - but not with the swagger befitting one of the best female players in the land.
"Elena is a great player, obviously, but you wouldn't think she's the superstar of the team if you just saw her walking around,'' teammate Trumae Lucas said. "She definitely fits in with the rest of us. Connecticut has its history, but she made history here.''
Delle Donne has been able to enjoy her basketball success a mere 15 minutes from where she grew up.
"We have a family barn where Mom cooks dinner,'' said Gene Delle Donne, Elena's older brother. "I think that's Elena's favorite place in the whole world.''
Delle Donne puts family ahead of everything. Being at UConn, a five-hour trip from Delaware, would have been too much separation from her family - most notably older sister Lizzie, who is deaf, blind, and has cerebral palsy.
"No doubt, Elena is one of Lizzie's favorite people,'' said Gene, who will be behind the Delaware bench Sunday. Delaware is in the same bracket as top-seed Connecticut, so there's a chance Delle Donne could face the Huskies down the road.
"I realize that,'' she said, "but we've got a long, long way to go before we get there.''
Delle Donne's final college game will serve as a prelude to the next phase of her career, the WNBA. She will likely be a top-five pick.
"I can't wait for that,'' Delle Donne said. "Obviously there's a little more to do here, then the next chapter starts. I think it's going to be pretty awesome.''