Becky Hammon, 1977

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Woman Category: SportsWoman Tags: Athlete

  • HerStory
    Becky Hammon, 1977

    A professional basketball player and coach. The second female assistant coach in NBA, the first female full-time assistant coach in NBA, and the first woman to be a head coach in the NBA Summer League.

    Becky Hammon was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. Since the moment she started walking she learned how to dribble. Growing up in a small town where not many girls were interested in basketball, she used to play mostly at the boys’ teams. In her youth, she played at her high school basketball team, been named South Dakota Miss Basketball as a junior, and voted South Dakota Player of the Year as a senior. After her graduation, she was recruited by the Colorado State Rams, becoming one of the best players in the history of the team – setting one record after another, leading her team to 33–3 record, and win the NCAA Tournament’s, Sweet Sixteen.
     
    At 22, Hammon signed with the New York Liberty, becoming a fan favorite. Within four years, she was appointed the team’s starting point guard, and in the following season, she became one of the team’s co-captains. In 2003, she began playing with the Tennessee Fury of the National Women’s Basketball League, and in her first season, she led the league’s scoring with an average of 20.6 points per game. In 2004, she joined the Colorado Chill but had to leave after only two games to recover from a knee injury. She returned in the following year, scoring her 2,000th WNBA career point. At the age of 30, she was traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars. With them, she reached a high average of 18.8 ppg and 5.0 APG, leading the team to a 24–10 record and getting them into the playoffs for two consecutive years.
     
    During the offseason of the leagues, she played for various clubs outside the US, such as Ros Casares Valencia, Trentino Rovereto Basket, and CSKA Moscow. In 2008, when she learned that she won’t be playing with the U.S. national team in the Olympics, she joined the Russian national team and played with them in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. In 2013, while playing for the San Antonio Stars, Hammon tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. During the year-long recovery, she paved the way to the next step in her career. She began to attend the San Antonio Spurs’ games, practices, and coaches’ meetings and was asked for her professional opinions. After her recovery, she returned to play for one more year before retiring from the WNBA. By the end of her career as a player, she has been a 6 times WNBA All-Star, 2 times All-WNBA First Team, 2 times All-WNBA Second Team, and a Euroleague All-Star MVP.
     
    In the summer of 2014, Hammon was hired as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, becoming the second female coach in the NBA. In the following year, when she became the Spurs’ summer league coach, she made history as the first female head coach in the NBA’s Summer League, and when she led the team to the Las Vegas Summer League title, she became the first female NBA head coach to win a Summer League title. In 2016, Hammon made history once again when she became the first woman to be part of the All-Star coaching staff.
     

    “Hope and encouragement… is probably one of the greatest things you can give another person”

    “Hope and encouragement… is probably one of the greatest things you can give another person”

     


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • In high school she was voted female class athlete by her graduating class.
    • She was named to the team representing the US at the 1998 William Jones Cup competition.
    • She became a naturalized Russian citizen so she could play for the Russian national team in the Olympic games.
    • Her number 25 Colorado State jersey was retired.
    • She earned the nickname “Big Shot Becky” for her ability to make shots in the most crucial moments.
    • She is in a relationship with Brenda Milano and they have two sons.
  • More About Her Legacy
    Awards:

    * The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the best senior player under 5 ft 8 in (1999)
    * Inducted into the Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame (2004)
    * Inducted into the Ring of Honor (2015)
    * Inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (2015)

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    Becky Hammon, 1977

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  • Becky Hammon, 1977

    Woman Tags: Athlete
     

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    Becky Hammon 'Just So Thankful' to Coach in NBA

    Hammon hopes her story inspires others to "dream a little bigger than what they thought they could ever be."

  • Hammon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Photo credit - Wikipedia


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