NBA

Who is Becky Hammon and How Did She Become an NBA Coach for the Spurs?

Becky Hammon is well-known throughout the WNBA. The former basketball player had a lot of success playing in the WNBA. Her playing career ended in 2014, and since then, she’s been coaching.

Hammon isn’t coaching women’s basketball. She is the assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs under legendary coach Gregg Popovich.

A look at Becky Hammon’s basketball career

Hammon is a native of South Dakota, where she was a standout in high school. During her junior year, she was named South Dakota Miss Basketball, and as a senior, was voted the South Dakota Player of the Year. Though she had a lot of success in high school, she did not receive much interest from college recruiters. Some considered her too small and too slow for her position. The point guard went on to play at Colorado State University.

Hammond proved many college recruiters wrong from her success in college. At Colorado State, she was a three-time All-American and became the WAC’s all-time leading scorer. She set multiple all-time records during her career at Colorado State. In 1999 she received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as the best senior player under 5-foot-8. She was inducted into the Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and the following year her jersey was retired.

The 5-6 point guard went undrafted in the 1999 WNBA draft and signed with the New York Liberty. Hammon spent her first eight seasons in New York, where she evolved into one of the league’s top guards. In 2004, she became a full-time starter and averaged 13.9 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. After her time in New York, she joined the San Antonio Silver Stars, where her success on the court continued. In her first season with the Silver Stars, she led the league in assists per game, averaging five each contest. She quickly became a fan favorite in San Antonio. Throughout her career, Hammon became a leader on the court and knew how to control the game. She had coaching tendencies even as a player.

Becky Hammon becoming a coach in the NBA

Hammon’s playing career ended in 2014, and she finished her career averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. In 2011 she was named as one of WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time. She played in multiple All-Star games and was selected to numerous All-WNBA teams. Hammon always had a passion for coaching. During her playing career, she suffered an injury that required her to sit out for a year. While she was recovering, she attended Spurs’ practices, coaches’ meetings, and games. There were times where the Spurs’ staff would have her contribute her opinion on certain things.

In August of 2014, the Spurs hired Hammon as an assistant coach, and she became the second female coach in NBA history. Gregg Popovich was impressed with Hammon’s contribution to the team. Hammon gained a lot of respect from players and coaches throughout the league. On July 3, 2015, she became the first-ever female head coach in the NBA’s Summer League. The Spurs ended up winning the Summer League title under Hammon. She also became the first woman to be a part of an All-Star coaching staff. Hammon brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the game.

Becky Hammon helped open the door for women coaching in the NBA

Hammon is one of many women who has helped paved the way for other women to get into coaching in the NBA. Whether it’s in the G League or NBA, seeing women on the benches during games is a positive thing to see. Who knows what else can happen in the future from this?

Maybe one day there will be a woman head coach of an NBA team. The NBA is starting to hire more women to their coaching staff, which will continue in the future. Hammon was someone who helped start the movement of women in the NBA.