Former WVU women’s basketball standout dies

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:07 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - One of the all-time great players in West Virginia University women’s basketball history has died.

Donna Abbott, a star for the Mountaineers from 1989-92 who led Huntington East High to a 1987 state title and was a two-time all-state performer, died Sunday night in Huntington. She was 52.

She was one seven players with state high school basketball ties on West Virginia’s first two NCAA Tournament teams in 1989 and 1992 during an era when the state’s top prospects were going elsewhere.

Abbott became an immediate starting forward as a freshman on West Virginia’s 1989 team that stunned Penn State in Rec Hall and defeated St. Joseph’s and Temple to claim its first-ever Atlantic 10 tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.

She also tallied a career-high 37 points in WVU’s 84-68 loss at St. Joseph’s earlier that season.

Abbott averaged a career-best 17.3 points per game during her sophomore season in 1990 and 15.8 points per game as a junior in 1991.

Despite playing through a chronic knee injury that required her to wear ice bags whenever she wasn’t playing, Abbott averaged 14.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for WVU’s breakthrough basketball team in 1992.

She ended her outstanding career with 1,656 points and 1,020 rebounds, making her one of just three players in school history to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds.

Her 15.3 points-per-game career scoring average ranks ninth in school history.

Abbott was a three-time All-Atlantic 10 choice, earning first team honors during her senior year in 1992.

Donna was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame earlier this fall.