Spurs hire NBA's first full-time female asst. coach Becky Hammon - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Spurs hire NBA's first full-time female asst. coach Becky Hammon

Becky Hammon became the first full time assistant coach of a major professional sports team on Tuesday. (Source: KSAT/CNN) Becky Hammon became the first full time assistant coach of a major professional sports team on Tuesday. (Source: KSAT/CNN)
  • National SportsMore>>

  • The Latest: Guice among those in green room when round ended

    The Latest: Guice among those in green room when round ended

    Thursday, April 26 2018 6:31 PM EDT2018-04-26 22:31:36 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 12:43 AM EDT2018-04-27 04:43:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File). FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev. Allen is expected to be a first r...(AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File). FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev. Allen is expected to be a first r...
    The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons.
    The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons.
  • Stephen Curry back in full practice mode for Warriors

    Stephen Curry back in full practice mode for Warriors

    Thursday, April 26 2018 6:44 PM EDT2018-04-26 22:44:53 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 12:39 AM EDT2018-04-27 04:39:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay). FILE - In this April 19, 2018 file photo, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) warms up before Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio.  Curry has been c...(AP Photo/Eric Gay). FILE - In this April 19, 2018 file photo, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) warms up before Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio. Curry has been c...
    Stephen Curry has resumed full practice with contact and could play for the defending champion Golden State Warriors as soon as Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals this weekend against New Orleans.
    Stephen Curry has resumed full practice with contact and could play for the defending champion Golden State Warriors as soon as Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals this weekend against New Orleans.
  • NBA says referees missed LeBron goaltending call in Game 5

    NBA says referees missed LeBron goaltending call in Game 5

    Thursday, April 26 2018 6:31 PM EDT2018-04-26 22:31:21 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 12:38 AM EDT2018-04-27 04:38:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Tony Dejak). Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James reacts after making the game-winning shot in the second half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cav...(AP Photo/Tony Dejak). Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James reacts after making the game-winning shot in the second half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cav...
    The NBA says referees missed a goaltending violation by Cavaliers star LeBron James in the closing seconds of Cleveland's Game 5 win over Indiana.
    The NBA says referees missed a goaltending violation by Cavaliers star LeBron James in the closing seconds of Cleveland's Game 5 win over Indiana.

SAN ANTONIO (RNN) – The reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hired the league’s first full-time, paid female assistant coach, longtime WNBA star Becky Hammon.

Hammon, a 16-year veteran of the WNBA, currently plays with the San Antonio Silver Stars and ranks among the best players in the league. She announced July 23 she would retire at the end of the season.

“I’m just incredibly grateful to the Spurs organization and Coach [Gregg] Popovich, and the whole staff really has been so great to me,” Hammon said during a press conference Tuesday. “As great as this opportunity is, it’s really humbling. The two driving forces is just thankful and humbled.”

Named as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 players in league history in July 2011, Hammon, 37, currently ranks seventh in the league in points, sixth in games, fourth in assists and was a six-time WNBA All-Star.

A native of South Dakota, Hammon also became a naturalized citizen of Russia in 2008, playing on their national teams in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, according to the New York Times. 

An undrafted free agent after the 1999 WNBA Draft, Hammon was signed by the New York Liberty before she was traded to San Antonio in 2007. She was a three-time All American at Colorado State. 

As for being hired as the first woman on a team’s coaching staff, Hammon said “it’s more about my basketball IQ” but said being the first woman is humbling.

Hammon is not the first woman to work for an NBA team.

Lisa Boyer worked on John Lucas’s staff of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2001-02, but did not travel with the team, was not paid by the Cavs but by the WNBA'S Cleveland Rockets and was never formally a member of the staff, according to ESPN.  She is now the associate head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team.

“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” Popovich said in a press release. “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.”

The hiring of Hammon is a significant move for male-dominated mainstream sports. Professional basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman called the move "a glorious day for the NBA and an awesome day for women."

The hire has been a big hit with sports fans, especially on Twitter, with many tweeting congratulations to her. 

Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant tweeted "Big fan of Becky since she was in college. Very bright basketball mind,"

“Growing up I remember asking my dad, ‘Hey will I ever play in the NBA?’ At that point, there was no WNBA and I was 7 or 8 years old,” Hammon said. “I didn't know anything about college scholarships or [playing] overseas, but he said, ‘No, sweetie, you’ll never be able to play in the NBA, but if you’re really, really good, maybe you can get a college scholarship.' I have to call him up and say, ‘You never said coaching.'”

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly