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Anne Donovan, Olympic gold medalist, basketball Hall of Famer, dies at 56: Women’s basketball lost a true pioneer, visionary and mentor on Wednesday.

Anne Donovan, who won Olympic gold as a player and a coach, died suddenly of heart failure at 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.”

A towering presence on the court at 6-8, Donovan led Old Dominion to an AIAW national championship in 1980, teaming with another great – Nancy Lieberman. She also was a member of the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold in 1984 and 1988.

After college, she played five seasons professionally in Japan and one in Italy.

She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

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Anne Donovan, Olympic gold medalist, basketball Hall of Famer, dies at 56: Women’s basketball lost a true pioneer, visionary and mentor on Wednesday.Anne Donovan, who won Olympic gold as a player and a coach, died suddenly of heart failure at 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.”A towering presence on the court at 6-8, Donovan led Old Dominion to an AIAW national championship in 1980, teaming with another great – Nancy Lieberman. She also was a member of the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold in 1984 and 1988.After college, she played five seasons professionally in Japan and one in Italy.She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995. reg etg fr