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Becky Hammon NBA’s first female assistant coach – SportsUntapped.com
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Added August 12th, 2014 by Ian

Becky Hammon NBA’s first female assistant coach
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The San Antonio Spurs recently made a historical decision by hiring Becky Hammon as the NBA club’s assistant coach. Hammon is a six-time WNBA All-Star who has played in the women’s league for 16 years. She’s already living in San Antonio since she’s played for the San Antonio Stars for the past seven years. The move is historical since Hammon is the first fulltime female assistant coach in the NBA. In fact, she’s also the first to be hired as an assistant in any of North America’s five major sports of basketball, baseball, football, ice hockey, and soccer.

Hammon suffered with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last year and during her time off she spent a lot of hours with the Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich. Hammon was asked for her opinion by Popovich on numerous issues and she attended the teams’ practices and watched their games from the bench. Hammon plans on retiring from the WNBA because of her torn knee and said the injury is actually a blessing in disguise for her.

The Spurs won the NBA title last season by beating the Miami Heat in the finals and Popovich said he was impressed by Hammon when he watched her work with the players. He said she has fantastic interpersonal skills and a great knowledge of the game. While Hammon becomes the first fulltime female assistant in the league she’s not the first woman to help out with an NBA squad. Back in the 2001/02 season Lisa Boyer worked as an assistant coach to head coach John Lucas II of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

However, the NBA club didn’t pay her and she didn’t travel with the team or sit on the bench during home games. Also, Natalie Nakase, a former female star with UCLA, was hired by the Los Angeles Clippers this year to help out in the summer league. Nakase won’t stay at the position once the regular season tips off though as she’ll return to her regular job as the club’s assistant video coordinator. Nakase does have previous coaching experience with a men’s team as she formerly coached a male squad in Japan.

The 37-year-old Hammon is an American who was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. She made the sports headlines several years ago when she became a naturalized citizen of Russia. This enabled her to play for the Russian women’s basketball team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing, China and London, England.

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