Hall of Fame, 2x WNBA All-Star, Champion
Anna DeForge was born in Iron Mountain, MI, and grew up across the Menominee River in Niagara, Wisconsin, a small paper mill community. She is the daughter of Roger and Rosemary DeForge and Anna was born into an athletic family. Her older sisters, Stacey and Kelly, were both athletes who served as an inspiration and role model for their younger sister who usually served as manager of their teams and attended their games and practices. Anna loved all sports but it was basketball that was her favorite by far. She became the proverbial “gym rat” as she could always be found shooting baskets and playing games whenever she had a bit of free time.
In high school Anna participated in volleyball and basketball. From tournament time as a freshman, Anna helped lead her volleyball team as it compiled a record of 104-6-3 through her senior year. She was a key player as Niagara won the Division 4 state championship her sophomore year and finished as runner-up both her junior and senior years. She earned all-state recognition as a junior and senior and gained interest from college recruiters for her volleyball skills. As talented as Anna was in volleyball, it was in basketball where she really excelled. She averaged 19.1 points per game as a freshman and would later finish her high school career having averaged 25.8 points per game while having scored in double-figures in every high school game she ever played in- a total of 101 games. She led her team to the sectional tournament as a sophomore and to the state tournament as a junior and a senior where her team took runner-up honors while going a combined 49-5 both years. Anna led Division 4 state tournament players in both scoring and rebounding while being named to the all-state tournament team both years. She received All-State recognition as a junior and as a senior in 1994 she earned First Team All-State recognition by the Associated Press, the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, and The Milwaukee Journal. She also was selected WBCA Miss Basketball, USA TODAY’s Wisconsin Player of the Year, and was the only high school recipient of the Milwaukee Athletic Club’s Founder’s Award. She ended her high school career with a then state female career scoring record of 2,601 points which is still second in state history. Anna also excelled in the classroom being an honor student and being a member of the National Honor Society.
Because of her basketball prowess, Anna received scholarship interest from over one hundred schools and accepted a full basketball scholarship from the University of Nebraska. She moved into the starting lineup early in her freshman year and went onto become one of the best players in Nebraska history. She led the Huskers to the NCAA tournament and also to the WNIT during her Nebraska career and currently ranks seventh in total points, sixth in rebounds, seventh in assists, and sixth in steals while averaging 15.9 points per game for her college career. She earned All-Big 10 first-team honors in both 1996-97 and 1997-98 while receiving All-American honorable mention recognition both years.
Anna also graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree while earning honorable mention academic All-Big 12 honors both her junior and senior year. Her success in basketball also resulted in her being named to one of five spots on Nebraska’s All-Century Team and Bob Devaney Sports Center Team.
After graduating, Anna joined the Detroit Shock in the WNBA and would go on to play with Phoenix, Indiana, Minnesota, and again with Detroit. She twice made the WNBA all-star team, twice earned WNBA Player of the Week honors, and finished her WNBA career having scored 2,413 points and once having led the league in three-point field goals and minutes played. Anna also went on to have a very successful career playing in Europe winning 3 championships in Poland while also playing with teams in Spain, Turkey and Czech Republic while also playing two seasons with the Montenegro National Team. She earned honors as the Eurobasket.com All-Polish Player of the Year and also was selected to play in both the Euroleague All-Star Game and the Polish All-Star Game in 2006. Most recently she played in Turkey averaging 16.1 points per game during the 2014 season and finished winning a Latvian Championship as well as MVP in 2015.