San Antonio Spurs' Becky Hammon Is The NBA's Second-Ever Female Assistant Coach, And She's A Champ

Fantastic, if overdue, news: Women may soon have a more prominent role on the NBA court. Becky Hammon, previously a top WNBA player with the San Antonio Stars, has been hired as the assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. The news was announced on Tuesday, making Hammon the second female assistant coach in NBA history. The first was Lisa Boyer, who served on the Cleveland Cavalier staff during the 2001-02 season and is now associate head coach of the South Caroline Gamecocks Women's Basketball Team.

Hammon, who will retire from her WNBA career at the conclusion of her 16th season, is regarded as one of the WNBA's top players. She is ranked sixth in games, seventh in points, and fourth in assists within the history of the organization. No small feat, Hammon was named All-Star six times and named first-team All-WNBA twice.

Greg Popovich, head coach of the Spurs, says Hammon joined his team for several practices last summer while her knee was healing after surgery. She also took part in film sessions and attended numerous games last year. According to NBA.com, Popovich said:

I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff. Having observed her working with our team this past season, I'm confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.

According to USA Today, Popovich told NBA TV's Inside Stuff that he think Hammon "is perfect," comparing her to Steve Kerr, Avery Johnson, and Mike Budenholzer. Popovich also says Hammon "knows when to talk, and she knows when to shut up. That's as simple as you can put it, and a lot of people don't figure that out. ... She knows how to do it, and our players really respond to her. She's just a natural."

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Before her WNBA debut, Hammon was named an All-American three times during her basketball career at Colorado State University. In 1999, she was not drafted into the WNBA, but ended up signing with New York Liberty later that year. In 2007, she was traded to the San Antonio Stars. With the Stars, Hammon has become the team's overall leader in assists, and is ranked second in games and points. Throughout her WNBA career, she has played in 445 season games.

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