Former UNI Women’s Player Makes History With NBA Team
A former UNI women's basketball player has proven that there are many paths you can take on your way to a successful coaching career.
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball alum Brittni Donaldson was a four-year player in Cedar Falls known for her three-point shooting ability. Yesterday, she made history. KWWL reports that Donaldson has been named an assistant coach with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, becoming the first female coach in the team's 76-year history.
KWWL reports that Donaldson was a two-year starter for the Panthers out of Sioux City, Iowa. She played in 114 games for UNI and still holds the single-game record for most three-point shots made with eight, against Drake as a junior. But knee injuries prevented Donaldson from pursuing a professional playing career after college. After graduating in 2015 with a degree in statistics and actuarial science, Donaldson began a different path to the NBA.
According to KWWL, Donaldson went to work for CBE Companies in Cedar Falls analyzing internal data. She also worked for STATS LLC in Chicago before moving on to Toronto to work for another former UNI Panther, former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. KWWL reports that Donaldson joined the Toronto staff as a data analyst in 2017 and was part of the staff that helped bring the city its first NBA Championship in 2019. Donaldson spent time in the Canadian Elite Basketball League and the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons.
KWWL reports that Donaldson is one of just 15 women to have served as full-time assistant coaches in the 70-year history of the NBA.