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Women's basketball mourns death of Anne Donovan

To many on the planet of girls’s basketball, Anne Donovan was once a large. And now not simply because she stood 6-foot-Eight.

She received a countrywide championship at Previous Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a participant and every other as a trainer in her storied occupation.

The 56-year-old Corridor of Famer died Wednesday of center failure, her circle of relatives mentioned in a remark.

“Probably the most better basketball gamers in her time slot,” Las Vegas Aces trainer Invoice Laimbeer mentioned. “She stood out for her peak, but additionally her taking part in skill and persevered that right through her complete lifestyles, training, her ambassadorship. You title it, she did it.”

Donovan was once inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Reputation in 1995, was once a part of the inaugural magnificence of the Girls’s Basketball Corridor of Reputation in 1999 and was once inducted within the FIBA Corridor of Reputation in 2015.

“Anne was once a large in each and every sense of the phrase, and I do know the ladies’s basketball neighborhood is saddened past phrases by means of this tragic information,” mentioned Val Ackerman, who was once the WNBA’s first president. “She was once a pioneer and icon within the girls’s recreation and made a profound and lasting have an effect on in any respect ranges as a participant, trainer, colleague and good friend.”

Donovan was once simply in Knoxville, Tennessee, final weekend on the Girls’s Basketball Corridor of Reputation ceremonies the place her highschool trainer Rose Marie Battaglia was once inducted within the 2018 magnificence.

“Individuals are going to bear in mind her for what she did in basketball,” Seattle guard Sue Chook mentioned. “However she additionally was once simply this kind of nice particular person.”

Donovan led the Typhoon to the WNBA championship in 2004, changing into the primary feminine trainer and the youngest particular person (42) to win a name within the league.

“I’ve some wonderful recollections of Anne, now we have long past via so much,” Chook mentioned. “Lauren (Jackson) and I have been pups when she got here to Seattle. She had a transparent symbol of what she sought after our crew to be.”

Chook recalled one time the Typhoon got here into the gymnasium for follow and there have been a host of dodgeballs at the court docket, so Donovan had the crew play an impromptu dodgeball recreation, which the trainer participated in.

“She extensively utilized to face below the basket early in my occupation all the way through follow and take a look at to dam our shot,” Chook recalled giggling. “She indubitably were given a couple of of mine.”

Chook additionally performed below Donovan with USA Basketball. She was once a part of the 2006 international championship crew that received a bronze medal. Falling in need of the gold medal — the one time the American citizens did not received gold on the planet championship or Olympics since 1996 — fueled Donovan not to have the similar factor occur within the Olympics in 2008.

“She was once on a challenge in Beijing,” Chook mentioned. “We have been a well-run crew.”

Donovan was once a member of 3 Olympic groups as a participant. The 1980 crew didn’t move to Russia as a result of a boycott. The crew received the gold in 1984 and ’88.

“She used to mention she bled purple, white and blue,” USA Basketball mentioned in a remark. “Up to we bear in mind her accomplishments within the recreation, we mourn a super good friend who will probably be a great deal overlooked.”

Donovan additionally coached the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, Charlotte Sting, New York Liberty and Connecticut Solar, operating there from 2013-15.

“A embellished participant and trailblazing trainer, Anne Donovan performed a seminal function within the expansion of girls’s basketball,” WNBA President Lisa Borders mentioned. “For all she completed in faculty, the WNBA and at the world level all the way through her Corridor of Reputation occupation, Anne can be remembered as a valued mentor and expensive good friend to such a lot of within the recreation.”

Each the Liberty and Solar have been taking part in video games Wednesday night time when information broke of Donovan’s demise. Avid gamers from each groups have been saddened to listen to of the demise in their former trainer.

Connecticut was once her final training task and most of the Solar gamers have been drafted by means of Donovan. They have been down 30 issues Wednesday to Washington earlier than rallying to take the lead within the fourth quarter. They ended up dropping in any case.

“I feel we did not recognize her up to we must,” Solar big name Chiney Ogwumike mentioned. “We have been suffering as a crew at that time through which she was once the trainer, and she or he gave us that fierce mentality that we must be proud to be the Connecticut Solar basketball crew. She made us opponents.”

The New Jersey local additionally coached at Seton Corridor for a couple of years.

“All through her faculty occupation Anne was once certainly one of ODU’s absolute best ambassadors each for the establishment and Girl Monarch basketball,” Monarchs athletic director Wooden Selig mentioned. “Anne’s legacy will probably be everlasting and permanent and can endlessly stay as the root upon which the Girl Monarch emblem become nationwide and synonymous with good fortune.”


AP Sports activities Author Tom Canavan and AP Sports activities Author Hank Kurz Jr. contributed to this record.

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