Anne Donovan Selected as Naismith Women's Outstanding Contributor to Basketball Award Winner
Atlanta, Ga. - Nov. 17, 2008
Longtime college and professional basketball player, coach and Olympian Anne Donovan, has been selected as the Naismith Women's Outstanding Contributor to Basketball recipient the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today, while men's college basketball broadcaster Billy Packer was named the Naismith Men's Outstanding Contributor to Basketball.
Created in 1982 the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Basketball Award is presented annually to two individuals whose efforts have made contributions of outstanding significance and have created a long-lasting positive impact on the game of basketball. Chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Directors, Donovan and Packer will be honored at the Atlanta Tipoff Club Naismith Awards banquet in March, 2009.
-Anne and Billy have not only achieved excellence at the highest levels, but they have sustained it over several decades, making them deserving recipients of this prestigious award," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. -They have been outstanding ambassadors of the game of basketball within their communities, universities and now the Naismith Awards family."
This past summer, Donovan became the first person in USA Basketball history to earn Olympic gold medals as both a player (1984 and 1988) and head coach when she piloted the 2008 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team to a sparking 8-0 record and Olympic gold medal in Beijing, China. Having also collected the gold medal as an Olympic assistant coach in 2004, Donovan led the 2008 U.S. women to an average margin of victory of 37.6 points a game en route to the USA's fourth consecutive gold medal, making the USA the first traditional women's team sport in Olympic history to claim four straight gold medals.
-Anne Donovan is well deserving of this prestigious award. She has committed most of her life to the game of basketball and the success the USA Basketball women's program has seen over the last 30 years is in part due to Anne's contributions as a player, committee member and, most recently, as the head coach of the gold medal winning 2008 U.S. Olympic Team," said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director. -She has been an outstanding ambassador for the United States, is always gracious towards her opponents and has helped grow the game here and abroad with class and dignity. She is highly respected not only in the United States, but in the international basketball world as well. All of us here at USA Basketball congratulate Anne on this tremendous honor."
As a college athlete, Donovan led Old Dominion University to the 1979 National Championship as a freshman and went on to win the inaugural Naismith Women's College Player of the Year award in 1983. She set school records for points (2,719), rebounds (1,976), and blocked shots (801), and seasonal marks for most games played (38), minutes played (1,159), field goals (377), and field goal percentage (.640). She averaged a double-double for her entire career, with 20 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.
Donovan played five seasons professionally in Japan and one in Italy before she was assistant coach at Old Dominion for six seasons and then at East Carolina for three seasons. She coached professionally for nine seasons, with the Indiana Fever, Charlotte Sting and the Seattle Storm. While with the Seattle Storm, she became the first female coach to win a WNBA title in 2004 and the only person to have both played to a national women's college title and coached a team to a professional title.
Donovan is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the Old Dominion Sports Hall of Fame and the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame. On Oct. 24, 2004, she was named by the Sun Belt Conference as its All-Time Women's Basketball Player.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com