San Antonio Spurs Hire First Ever Female Assistant Coach

San Antonio Spurs Hire First Ever Female Assistant Coach

Mitch Moskowitz, Reporter

Barriers exist in all aspects of life. Whether it be race, religion, or sexual orientation, the groups in which humans are classified often restrict their inclusion in certain activities. However, no barrier has been as prevalent throughout human history as gender. The attitude that women are inferior to their male counterparts has been a key part of civilization since the beginning of time. While opportunities for women have increased exponentially in the past century, gender barriers still exist in modern society, perhaps nowhere more than in the field of sports.

On August 5, 2014, the San Antonio Spurs made history by hiring Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history. With 12 years of experience in professional basketball, Hammon appears to be the biggest addition the Spurs have made in the offseason coming off of the organization’s fifth NBA championship. The seven-time WNBA all-star is said to possess a savant-like basketball IQ, which can only expand under the tutelage of coach Gregg Popovich.

Basketball has been an integral part of Becky Hammon’s life since the age of four. As a senior in high school, she was voted the South Dakota Player of the Year after averaging 26 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Hammon played collegiately at Colorado State University, where she averaged 21.9 points per game and was selected as an All-American. She would go on to play professionally in the WNBA, averaging 14.5 points per game. In 2011, Hammon was voted as one of the top 15 WNBA players of all time.

While Hammon’s love for basketball pushed her to pursue the job as the Spurs’ assistant coach, she is also motivated by the impact she has on the millions of women across America. “Hope and encouragement, especially hope, is probably one of the greatest things you can give another person,” explains Hammon. “I mean, what a gift to allow that person to be able to dream, to be able to say, why not me? Why couldn’t I be the first?”

As the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history, Becky Hammon has changed the game of basketball forever. No longer will the idea that only a man can coach a male basketball team prevail in American culture. With the prospect of one day becoming the first female NBA head coach, Becky Hammon intends to prove to both herself and the general public that as long as a coach can produce a winning team, the issue of gender is and will forever remain irrelevant.