A beloved Georgetown University basketball coach and former WNBA star Tasha Butts has passed away.
The 41-year-old athlete was best known for her years of experience in coaching that followed her professional WNBA career.
According to the Georgetown athletic director, the passionate and devoted coach succumbed to breast cancer two years after getting diagnosed with the illness in 2021.
“I am heartbroken for Tasha’s family, friends, players, teammates and colleagues. When I met Tasha, I knew she was a winner on the court, and an incredible person whose drive, passion and determination was second to none,” Lee Reed said as he shared the heartbreaking news with the community.
“She exhibited these qualities both as a leader and in her fight against breast cancer. This is a difficult time for the entire Georgetown community, and we will come together to honor her memory.”
Butts joined Georgetown earlier this year after leaving Georgia Tech following years of coaching and a brief WNBA career during which she played for Minnesota, Charlotte, and Houston after getting drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in 2004. She stepped away from her position as head coach last month after her condition had worsened.
Tributes to the sportswoman have since the sad news began pouring in.
“Tasha’s passing is a devastating loss. She was extraordinary. Tasha was a person of character, determination, vision, and kindness,” Georgetown president John J. DeGioia said.
“She will be deeply missed by our community and by so many people around the country who have been inspired by her life.”
Interim Georgetown head coach Darnell Haney added: “We kept her up to date with what’s going on with the program. Shoot her a text on how practice went, how things are going in the conference.
“Do stuff to make her smile and keep her mind off what was she was going through. We’d send her film from practice.”
On top of her career in basketball, Butts served as the head of the Tasha Tough campaign which helped raise funds for the treatment of women with cancer through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Our thoughts remain with Tasha’s loved ones during this challenging time.