How Becky Hammon, The First Female Assistant Coach In NBA History, Landed The Spurs Job

The San Antonio Spurs hired 37-year-old WNBA player Becky Hammon as an assistant coach on Tuesday.

She’s the first female assistant coach in NBA history.

Back in February Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News wrote an article about Hammon’s coaching ambitions that gives you a solid idea of how she landed the Spurs job.

It’s a great story about someone making the most of an opportunity.

After missing almost all of the 2013 WNBA season because of an injury, Hammon and San Antonio Stars head coach Dan Hughes approached Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford and told them that she was interested in coaching.

The Spurs invited her to participate in a variety of team activities in an unofficial capacity — a opportunity that she threw herself into. From the Express-News:

“Hammon became a fixture at practice sessions, an unofficial coaching intern, participating in staff meetings and video sessions.

“Hammon understands the value of an apprenticeship any prospective coach would cherish.

“‘I’m kind of just there, a fly on the wall soaking up how they run things over there in the film sessions,’ Hammon said. ‘I get a lot out of their film sessions, just listening to the coaches go back and forth on what they think is happening on certain plays.'”

She won over Spurs coaches and players during that unofficial internship last season. She sat behind the bench at games and joined in coaches meetings. Tim Duncan raved about her, and Popovich said in February, before she was hired, “We love her to death.”

In a statement released by the team on Tuesday, Popovich said of the hire:

“Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”

It’s a historic hire, and clearly a very deserved one.

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