On Tuesday the San Antonio Spurs made history when Popovich made Becky Hammon the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history.
A star on the court, Hammon will make this upcoming season- her 16th- her last and will right away jump into her new coaching gig. Becky is confident in her basketball IQ, noting that she has a “very cerebral approach” to the game. Looks like Pop agrees. He made it a point to make sure she was the right fit for the job.
She has excelled on the court over her 16-year career and proven an aptitude for coaching during her time getting to know the Spurs organization through her off-season “internship” where she earned respect from the players and really demonstrated her ability to communicate and lead from the court (not much different than her style of play!).
So the big question: what does this mean for other women who once thought they could only hope for an opportunity to coach in the NBA? It means there’s a shot, but there’s still work to be done. Turns out, it’s not a question of ability in the way many would think. It’s more a question of fit. As Pop and the Spurs made clear, the position was open to the best, most qualified candidate. Women have long demonstrated excellent capacity to coach at a high level; but few have knocked on the NBA’s door, most likely assuming there wouldn’t be a chance. It just takes a different perspective, one that Becky Hammon clearly has:
In Hammon’s words,“when it comes to things of the mind, things like coaching, game-planning, coming up with offensive and defensive schemes, there’s no reason why a woman couldn’t be in the mix and shouldn’t be in the mix.”
I couldn’t agree more. Ladies, if we believe in ourselves, we will show others why they should believe in us. It’s said confidence is key; I’d add ambition, tenacity and humility to the recipe for game changers. We will continue to break barriers if we stand strong, dream big, fight hard and learn always.