Danielle Donehew always did a little bit of everything during her time as an athlete, and it will all pay off Friday when she is inducted into the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame.
Donehew will be inducted at a ceremony at Canton First Baptist, along with former teammate LaShonda Stephens Tucker, Mickey Swims and Matt Moore.
“It was a feeling of shock and excitement," Donehew said. "I have so many wonderful memories of my time playing basketball and other sports. I played volleyball and soccer, too, in Cherokee County, and I have so many wonderful memories of those times competing in sports and building friendships.”
There was not much Donehew did not do during her time at Sequoyah, where she was a four-sport athlete and still holds the school record with 11 varsity letters earned. She graduated sixth in her class and was in Beta Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the president of the Chess Club.
Donehew was an all-region and all-state selection in volleyball and an all-region player in soccer. She played on the boys golf team and was offered a chance to kick for the football team, but her strongest sport was basketball.
“I gave my best effort in all the opportunities that were in front of me,” Donehew said. “I was surrounded by great friends, mentors, teachers and coaches who helped my navigate everything. It was not always smooth sailing. There were lots of challenges along the way, but they were all great growth opportunities.”
In basketball, Donehew was part of Sequoyah teams that went 110-10 overall and 44-0 at home, making four state semifinals, playing for three state titles and winning state championships in 1994 and ‘96.
She was named co-MVP of the state championship game her senior season and earned a scholarship to play at Georgia Tech.
“Playing in college was a dream come true for me,” Donehew said. “One of my personal goals was to go to college and play on a full scholarship. Agnes Berenato offered me that at Georgia Tech. Playing in college was fun, challenging and rewarding. I was fortunate to earn a degree while I was there. It was a special place for me. I was challenged academically and athletically.”
At Georgia Tech, Donehew found a good fit to continued her varied interests.
She continued to thrive on the court and was named a team captain and a three-time Basketball Iron Athlete Award recipient before graduating third all-time in Atlantic Coast Conference history in 3-point shooting and holding four team 3-point shooting records.
Off the court, Donehew was named Georgia Tech’s NCAA Woman of the Year and an ACC Top Six for Service member in 2000. She was the 1999 homecoming queen and served as president and vice president of the ACC Student-Athlete Advisory Board and was named an academic all-American while earning her degree in industrial and systems engineering.
“I have always been surrounded by positive and encouraging people who have helped me see that there are so many different opportunities out there through sports and life,” Donehew said. “I always wanted to enjoy as many different things as possible.”
Since graduation, Donehew has stayed close to the sport that offered her so many opportunities.
She has worked at all levels of basketball, including a stint with the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. Since 2014, she has served more than 4,200 coaches at all levels of basketball as the executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
“It was really important for me to choose a career path that had a deeper meaning for me,” Donehew said. “My mom played an important role in encouraging me to look at the sports industry. If I wasn’t going to play professionally or coach, I wanted a way to give my strengths to this industry. I’m very thankful for that, because I’ve been able to find a way to pursue my passion and turn it into my business.”