Storyline: Becky Hammon is a NBA trailblazer. She may well become the first female head basketball coach in NBA history.
Making history is one of the great things about sports. The high school team that never won a district championship goes on to win a state championship. A small college in an out-of-the-way place competes for a national championship.
History is also made in the coaching ranks. That happened in August 2014 when Gregg Popovich, head coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, hired Becky Hammon to be the first woman in NBA history to serve as a full-time assistant coach.
Hammon, no stranger to pro basketball, spent 16 seasons in the WNBA. In 1999 she signed as an undrafted player with the New York Liberty. Hammon played for the Liberty through 2006 before being traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Hammon had a great career with the Silver Stars, including leading the team to the WNBA Finals. She was known as “Big Shot Becky” for her ability to hit shots in clutch moments. Her jersey was retired in 2016.
After Hammon tore her left ACL in 2013 she starting attending Spurs’ practices, coaches meetings, and games. Popovich invited her to contribute opinions. He was impressed.
When Popovich hired Hammon he said: “I’m confident that her basketball IQ, work ethic, and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit for the Spurs.”
He was right. Hammon coached the Spurs in the NBA’s Summer League–the first female to coach in that League–and led the team to the title.
There’s no doubt that Becky Hammon will continue doing great things. She may well become the first female head basketball coach in NBA history.