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Elena Delle Donne is one of the best basketball players you've never heard of.

Standing 6 feet 5 inches, Delle Donne is a powerful presence and star of the WNBA's Chicago Sky. In an interview with the WNBA, her teammate Cappie Pondexter suggested Delle Donne could probably play in all five positions on the court. Yes, she's that damn good.


Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

In fact, Delle Donne took home this year's WNBA MVP Award because her awesomeness on the court is unmatched.

Baller alert! Image via Wall Street Journal/YouTube.

Delle Donne is also already in the record books as one of the best free-throw shooters. OF ALL TIME.

We're talking men, women, Air Bud, or Monstars. Delle Donne is simply the best.

Check out her mind-boggling stats:

In her 77 games in the WNBA, Delle Donne made 448 out of 477 free throws. No NBA player with 400 attempts has managed to match that percentage. That's a 93.9% career average, more than 3% higher than Steve Nash, who holds the current NBA record of 90.43%.


Delle Donne at the NBA All Star Celebrity Game in 2014. Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images.

And in the 2015 season, her record was an astonishing 95%. 95 PERCENT?! What?! The woman is a force to be reckoned with. Delle Donne is also only 26, so she's just getting started.

How did she get so good? Magic — no, scratch that — practice.

She makes the game look effortless, smooth, and measured. But she says that, really, her grace and timing is a result of countless hours spent on the court.

Image via Wall Street Journal/YouTube.

Instead of sitting down when she got tired, Delle Donne says she would rest by working on her free throws, telling the Wall Street Journal, "You'll see little kids who are out by the three-point line like launching it. That was never me. I practiced it every single day and really got it down."

Delle Donne making a free throw while wearing a blindfold. A FREAKING BLINDFOLD. All GIFs via Wall Street Journal/YouTube.

It also helps that Delle Donne refuses to give up, even when she gets sick.

Her success on the court is especially remarkable given her Lyme disease diagnosis in 2008. While her disease is currently under control, bouts of intense fatigue and muscle stiffness forced her to miss part of the 2014 season, including the All-Star Game.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

And while most of us will never play professional sports, we can learn a thing or two from Delle Donne about life and basketball.

First, dust off your gym shoes and try Delle Donne's free-throw technique:

1. Dribble three times.

2. Get your arms in a 90-degree angle.

3. Lift and flick the ball while simultaneously popping your ankle. Don't jump.

(The last step is sort of three steps in one, but multitasking is what separates the MVPs from the benchwarmers.)

And then consider adopting her other trick, which has nothing to do with muscle memory.

Delle Donne says a few words of self-encouragement can make all the difference.

A helpful tip for all of us, on and off the court.

See Elena Delle Donne in action in this delightful video from the Wall Street Journal.

Think she can make the shot while a vuvuzela blows? Spoiler Alert: Of course she can.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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