Donna Abbott, one of the best players in West Virginia women’s basketball history, and a recent inductee to the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 52.
According to a release from WVU, she passed away Sunday evening in her hometown of Huntington, West Virginia.
As a freshman with the Mountaineers in 1989, Abbott immediately became a starter and helped send West Virginia to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. After claiming the program’s first Atlantic 10 title, Abbott scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead WVU to an upset victory over a nationally ranked Western Kentucky team in the first round of the national tournament.
Abbott averaged a career-best 17.3 points per game as a sophomore, and followed with 15.8 points per contest as a junior. Despite playing with a nagging knee injury for most of her career, the West Virginia native tallied more than 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career.
She is also one of just three players in program history to eclipse 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Abbott ranks ninth in program history in scoring (1,656) and scoring average (15.3), fourth in steals (279), third in free throws made (427) and total rebounds (1,020), second in double-doubles (52), and first in offensive rebounds (400). She also had four 30-point performances in her career.
Abbott’s amazing career culminated with the program’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in 1992.
The Huntington native was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2022. She made her acceptance speech remotely due to declining health.