Anne Donovan passes away at 56

Photo Credit: Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty Images

The excitement that may have preceded two WNBA games on Wednesday June 13 – including a nationally televised contest on ESPN2 between the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun – was muted by some sad news.

Anne Donovan, a legendary figure within the realm of women’s basketball, had died at the age of 56 due to heart failure.

Donovan was the head coach of the Seattle Storm when they won the 2004 WNBA championship and also coached the 2008 United States Basketball Women’s National Team to a gold medal in Beijing.

She also won a pair of gold medals as a player and is a member of two Halls of Fame – the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame which she was inducted into in 1995 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, which she joined in 1999. One of the gold medals was with the 1984 national team who claimed the Games’ top prize at the Olympics in Los Angeles.

Her coaching career also included stints with the Indiana Fever, Charlotte Sting, Connecticut Sun, and New York Liberty. Collegiately, she played at Old Dominion where she also spent time as an assistant coach.

Donovan’s name is also notable in New Jersey basketball circles as she is the all-time leading scorer in Bergen County.

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