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Hall of Famer and women's basketball icon Anne Donovan dies at 56

Women’s basketball icon Anne Donovan, who won two Olympic gold medals and was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56.

“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. “Anne touched many lives as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and coach.”

Donovan was a native of New Jersey and a former college basketball player at Old Dominion. There, from 1979-83, she averaged 20 points and 14.5 rebounds. She also led the Lady Monarchs to three Final Fours.

At both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, Donovan was key in two United States of America gold medals. Following a five-year professional stint, Donovan retired in 1989. She then became a coach and navigated the Seattle Storm to a WNBA Championship in 2004.

“Anne was a person with strong faith, courageous spirit, a giving heart and love for everyone,” her family added. “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.”

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