SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Anne Donovan, enshrined as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, has passed away at the age of 56.
“We are immensely saddened by the unexpected loss of our dear friend and Hall of Famer Anne Donovan,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Long before the days of the WNBA, it was remarkable young women like Anne who paved the way for future generations. She will be tremendously missed by the basketball community.”
At a time when women's basketball was gaining national exposure, Anne Donovan was a 6’8” center and the game's premier player. From 1979 to 1983, she dominated women's college basketball like no player before her. Donovan averaged double figures in points and rebounds in her college career to go along with 801 blocked shots, a record at the time of her enshrinement. As a freshman, she powered Old Dominion University to a 37-1 record and the 1979 AIAW National Championship. Donovan later guided ODU to the NCAA Final Four in 1983, earning her the Naismith Player of the Year award. A three-time Olympian (1980, 1984, 1988), Donovan led the United States to gold medal victories in 1984 and 1988. As a head coach, Donovan won a WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm (2004) and a gold medal with USAB in Beijing (2008).
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
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