2015 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame: Anne Donovan (USA)
MIES (2015 FIBA Hall of Fame) - On Friday 17 July, FIBA announced the 2015 Class of Inductees of the FIBA Hall of Fame. In the lead-up to the Induction Ceremony taking place on 19 September in Lille, France, we profile the inductees.
There are few more recognisable faces in the women's game than Anne Donovan whose role in bringing it to prominence is one of the primary reasons she is one of this year's inductees.
The dominant figure in US college basketball between 1979 to 1983, the center was a standout player as she fused her aggressive approach with superb mobility to terrorise opposing defences and clean up in the paint.
It was little surprise that as the definitive star of her era, she averaged a double-double in points and rebounds, famously carrying Old Dominion University (ODU) to an eye-popping 37-1 winning record during their AIAW Championship success in her Freshman year.
It was a sign of things to come as the two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American signed off her participation by leading the Lady Monarchs to the Final Four in 1983, which earned her the distinction of becoming the first ever female winner of the prestigious Naismith College Player of the Year award.
Donovan was also handed the Honda Sports Award for basketball, departing ODU with the school scoring record and having blocked more shots than any other player in NCAA women's basketball history.
Had the USA taken part in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, she would have become an Olympian while still in college - although her time on that particular stage would eventually arrive.
First up at senior national team level was the 1983 FIBA Women's World Championship in Sao Paulo after her graduation, when Donovan played in the Final and helped her team finish second.
One year later and it was the glory of winning an Olympic gold medal on home soil in Los Angeles. She would also head to Moscow after all in 1986, when she helped the USA land the women's world title.
And in 1988, she became a double Olympic champion with a podium success in Seoul - with Donovan knowing the Asia region well, having spent the five previous seasons competing in Japan for Shizuoka.
The New Jersey native was enshrined into the Old Dominion University Hall of Fame in the same year and moved to Europe to play for Modena in Italy.
Upon her retirement, Donovan coached at ODU from 1989-1995, then at East Carolina University from 1995-1998.
After a brief period with Philadelphia Rage in the ABL, she has since been a long-serving coach in the WNBA - albeit punctuated by thee years at Seton Hall between 2010 and 2013.
She has patrolled the sidelines with an array of WNBA clubs including Indiana Fever, Charlotte Sting, Seattle Storm, New York Liberty and currently holds the coaching reins of Connecticut Sun.
During her time as a play-caller, there have been a flurry of ongoing individual accolades for her past efforts on the court, with Donovan being inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame in 1994 and then into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame a year later.
She also found herself gracing the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and then the highly regarded Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Donovan was also inducted into the New Jersey Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2000, while in 2004,she was named by the Sun Belt Conference as its All-Time Women's basketball Player.
There was more recognition for her College displays when she received the NCAA 25 Year Award on in 2008, while also being awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the 109th commencement ceremony later that same year, from Old Dominion University in recognition of her contributions to the women’s game.
In 2009, she was named to the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, which honours athletes, coaches and administrators who have contributed to sports in south eastern Virginia.
Six years later and the gongs keep on coming for Donovan, who will certainly appreciate being included in the 2015 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame.