NEW YORK – Anne Donovan, the Basketball Hall of Famer who won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56.
Following her amateur days, Donovan played in Japan with the Chanson V-Magic in Shizuoka during a five-year period in the 1980s.
“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,” Donovan’s family said in a statement.
Donovan was at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee, 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 203-cm center coached both 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.
Donovan was a member of three Olympic teams as a player. The 1980 U.S. team did not go to Russia because of a boycott. The team won the gold in 1984 and ’88, and she coached the winning 2008 team.