Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Sports world sends prayers and condolences on death of basketball legend Anne Donovan

A basketball legend is gone. Anne Donovan, the only woman to have played for both a national women’s college title and coached a team to a professional title, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 56.

Donovan played her college basketball at Old Dominion, where she won a national championship in 1980 and was named the Naismith College Player of the Year in 1983. In ’84 and ’88, Donovan was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic women’s basketball teams.

Her coaching career began in 1989 as an assistant with Old Dominion. After a few college stints, she moved to the WNBA, where as the head coach in 2004 she led the Seattle Storm to a WNBA championship.

Donovan’s time in Seattle ended in 2007, but she would return to coaching with the New York Liberty from 2009-10, Seton Hall University from 2010-2013, and then back to the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun from 2013-2015.

“Anne was a person with strong faith, courageous spirit, a giving heart and love for everyone,” Donovan’s family said in its statement. “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.”

Donovan received basketball’s highest honor in 1995 when she was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

After the news became public, many in the sports world took to social media to express their condolences on the death of the basketball legend.

Join us in praying for the Donovan family.

RELATED STORIES:
– Women’s college basketball coach says she now lives for Christ and not for herself
– Maya Moore leads Minnesota Lynx to 4th WNBA championship
– No. 1 WNBA pick A’ja Wilson says prayer helped her fight through adversity