ANNE DONO­VAN 1961-2018 ODU great struck gold

In Olympics, Hall of Famer shined as player and coach

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS2 -

Anne Dono­van, the Bas­ket­ball Hall of Famer who won a na­tional cham­pi­onship at Old Do­min­ion, two Olympic gold medals in the 1980s and coached the United States to the gold in 2008, died Wed­nes­day of heart fail­ure. She was 56.

Ms. Dono­van’s fam­ily con­firmed the death in a state­ment.

“While it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to ex­press how dev­as­tat­ing it is to lose Anne, our fam­ily re­mains so very grate­ful to have been blessed with such a won­der­ful hu­man be­ing,” the state­ment said. “Anne touched many lives as a daugh­ter, sister, aunt, friend and coach. Anne was a per­son with strong faith, coura­geous spirit, a giv­ing heart and love for every­one. We are so proud of her ac­com­plish­ments as a women’s’ bas­ket­ball player and coach, but even more proud of her char­ac­ter, in­tegrity, hu­mil­ity and kind­ness.”

Ms. Dono­van was at the Women’s Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., last week­end.

She was in­ducted into the Nai­smith Memo­rial Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame in 1995, was part of the in­au­gu­ral class of the Women’s Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame in 1999 and was in­ducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.

The 6-foot-8 cen­ter coached in col­lege and the WNBA. She be­came the first fe­male coach and the youngest per­son (42) to win a ti­tle in the WNBA, guid­ing the Seat­tle Storm to a cham­pi­onship in 2004. She also coached the In­di­ana Fever, the Char­lotte Sting, New York Lib­erty and Con­necti­cut Sun, work­ing there from 2013 to 2015. The New Jersey na­tive also coached at Se­ton Hall for two years.

Ms. Dono­van was a mem­ber of three Olympics teams as a player. The 1980 team did not go to Russia be­cause of a boy­cott. The team won the gold in 1984 and 1988.

After play­ing at Old Do­min­ion, Dono­van played pro­fes­sion­ally in Ja­pan and Italy.

After re­tir­ing, she was an as­sis­tant at Old Do­min­ion and then coached at East Carolina Univer­sity from 1995 to 1998. She coached the Philadel­phia Rage in the Amer­i­can Bas­ket­ball League in 1997-98.


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