In the first half of a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, long time San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after receiving a technical foul arguing with the refs. Assistant coach Becky Hammon took his place, making history as the first woman to head coach an NBA regular season game. Many outsiders have expected her to take over the reins from Popovich once he finally calls it a career, and last night was a glimpse into what could become a reality for San Antonio.
This isn’t the first rodeo for the Spurs coach. She’s been a part of the game for a long time, and she shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Let’s get to know a little more about the woman who just made NBA history:
Starting in high school, Hammon was named South Dakota Miss Basketball her junior year in her home state. Her final year of high school, she was named the South Dakota player of the year after averaging 26 points per game and an insane 5 steals per contest.
She graduated high school in 1995, but due to the diminutive size of her town and school, college recruitment was slow. Eventually she was spotted by Colorado State where she spent her college career.
Hammon quickly proved her worth to Colorado State, setting a ton of records on the way. During her tenure, she set school records for total points scored, points per game, assists, field goals, three pointers, and free throws made, as well as becoming the all-time leading scorer in the WAC. Her performance led her to become a three-time All-American and Colorado Sportswoman of the Year. In 2004 she was inducted into the Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame and had her jersey retired in 2005.
Despite the college accolades under her belt, Hammon went undrafted to the WNBA. She would once again prove to everyone that she’s an incredible basketball player when given the chance. She would become a six-time All-Star behind fabulous scoring and playmaking. Her jersey has since been retired by the San Antonio Stars. Her history with the organization helped her land an assistant coaching job with the Spurs in 2014.
In the 6 years and counting that she has been with the Spurs, she has broken boundaries and made history as a trailblazer for women in sports. Poised to become the first full-time woman head coach in NBA history, there’s no signs that she’s slowing down any time soon.
Players and coaches alike have praised Hammon for her basketball knowledge and execution. She has numerous stamps of approval for her work, and she will be a valuable member of the NBA family for years to come.
Featured Image: NBA.com
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