Spurs hire former female CSU star as assistant coach

Courtesy USA Today
By Nick Schwartz

The San Antonio Spurs made history Tuesday, announcing that six-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon will join the team as an assistant coach for the 2014-15 season. Hammon, a 16-year WNBA veteran who has played for the San Antonio Stars since 2007, will retire after the current WNBA season concludes. Hammon has spent time with the Spurs already, while rehabbing a knee injury last winter, and head coach Gregg Popovich said in a release that Hammon will be an asset for the current NBA champions.

Via NBA.com:  "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."
Hammon is the first woman to be named a full-time assistant in NBA history. Lisa Boyer served as an assistant to Cavaliers head coach John Lucas II during the 2001-2002 season, but Lucas told USA TODAY Sports that Boyer was not paid by the team, did not travel to away games or sit on the bench. The Clippers also made former UCLA star Natalie Nakase an assistant in July, albeit only for a few weeks during Summer League play.

Nakase was the assistant video coordinator for the Clippers, but Doc Rivers asked her to be an assistant coach for the team over the summer. Nakase played college basketball at UCLA and went on to become a head coach of a men's team in Japan before joining the Clippers. According to the NBA, Nakase will return to her job as a video coordinator during the regular season.

Hammon's appointment to a full-time coaching role should open the doors for more women to lead NBA teams.


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