Girls’s basketball misplaced a real pioneer, visionary and mentor on Wednesday.

Anne Donovan, who received Olympic gold as a participant and a trainer, died all at once of middle failure at 56.

“Whilst this can be very tricky to precise how devastating it’s to lose Anne, our circle of relatives stays so very thankful to had been blessed with this sort of superb human being,” Donovan’s circle of relatives stated in a observation. “Anne touched many lives as a daughter, sister, aunt, good friend and trainer.”

A towering presence at the courtroom at 6-Eight, Donovan led Outdated Dominion to an AIAW nationwide championship in 1980, teaming with any other nice – Nancy Lieberman. She additionally used to be a member of the U.S. Olympic groups that received gold in 1984 and 1988.

After school, she performed 5 seasons professionally in Japan and one in Italy.

She used to be inducted into the Basketball Corridor of Status in 1995.

The youngest of 8 youngsters, born in Ridgewood, N.J., Donovan did not plan to pursue a profession within the recreation after taking part in. 

“I by no means suspected I would get into training,” she informed USA TODAY Sports activities in 2008. “Once I did, I liked it. However the core of who I’m, after I depart the courtroom and cross house, is a beautiful solitary lifestyles.”

Donovan began as an assistant trainer at her alma mater, Outdated Dominion, for 6 seasons. Then she spent 3 as trainer at East Carolina.

An introvert, Donovan stated she discovered her area at the sidelines.

“That basketball circle of relatives is the rationale I were given into basketball,” Donovan stated. “So after I left my circle of relatives I went into a special circle of relatives the place I may well be myself, make bigger somewhat bit and get at ease in my very own pores and skin. And I believe that is what has been so addicting for me. The basketball industry for me, it is my very own circle of relatives, my very own means, and it is very at ease. It isn’t a stretch in any respect.”

She coached the Seattle Typhoon to a WNBA name in 2004 and the U.S. Olympic group to gold in 2008.

“If she’s an introvert, she’s finished a very good activity popping out of her shell,” Olympic level guard Sue Hen, who additionally performed 5 seasons for Donovan with the Typhoon, informed USA TODAY Sports activities in 2008. “Anne is an actual gamers’ trainer. She’s in music. She is aware of once we want a day without work or once we want to cross arduous.”

Donovan used to be the primary feminine trainer to win a WNBA name, and at 42, additionally the youngest.

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She additionally frolicked with the ABL’s Philadelphia Rage and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, Charlotte Sting, N.Y. Liberty and Connecticut Solar.

Donovan left the league for a two-year stint with Seton Corridor prior to returning, this time with the Solar. She coached there for 2 seasons and retired in 2015.

Contributing: Erik Brady

Observe Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner and Tucker @HeatherR_Tucker

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