Home General Becky Hammon’s inspirational journey continues in NBA Summer League

Becky Hammon’s inspirational journey continues in NBA Summer League

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Imagine this. It’s the NBA Summer league with the usual mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces from all of your favorite NBA teams. The five-time champion San Antonio Spurs are playing now. Aside from Kyle Anderson, the Spurs players are mostly all new faces to an average fan. Then, a timeout it called. You glance to the bench and see none other than WNBA veteran and All-Star point guard, Becky Hammon standing up to address her team.

That sounds like something out of Whoopie Goldberg movie, or a childhood dream. It was definitely one of my dreams as a kid. This time though, it’s real life!

Becky Hammon, who a year ago made history as the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA when the Spurs hired her, made history yet again this week. On Saturday, the Spurs took on the New York Knicks and Becky Hammon became the first female head coach at the NBA summer league.


Becky Hammon coaching the Spurs Summer League squad, the first woman head coach in history.
Becky Hammon coaching the Spurs Summer League squad, the first woman head coach in history.

What an accomplishment for Hammon, the Spurs, the NBA, and women everywhere! Though the Spurs lost the game, they won the next two which put them in the seventh seed going into the tournament round. No doubt their head coach is doing a pretty good job in her coaching debut.

Becky Hammon played for 16 years in the WNBA and finished her last eight with the San Antonio Stars (formerly Silver Stars). I still remember the season she came to San Antonio. The Stars played so well that they won the conference and advanced to the WNBA Finals, which is their lone appearance. Hammon’s impact showed from the start. She knew basketball, and she still does.

When Hammon signed on to become a full-time assistant coach with the Spurs, she opened the door for so many possibilities. Her hiring is greatly due to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

When Hammon was invited to sit in on a few of the Spurs coaching sessions a while back, her keen insights and high basketball IQ attracted the attention of Popovich and the rest of the Spurs staff.

Amazingly, after her first full-year of sitting behind the Spurs bench, a time when most coaches still need the guiding hand of a mentor, Hammon is now the head coach of her NBA team’s summer squad.

Of course, while her history-making role in the NBA continues to gain national attention, it’s safe to say that all eyes are on her this summer.

“To me, it’s always about bigger picture,” Hammon said after her coaching debut. “We want to make sure that when your wife or your daughter goes in for a job interview, she gets the same opportunity that a guy gets. I think that’s the bigger picture, that’s the bigger goal. Whether it’s basketball or in the army or in CEOs or in operating rooms, we want women there.”

These inspirational words sum up exactly why this step is so important for the NBA. While female NBA basketball analysts, reporters, and commentators are slowly making their way in, and there’s been at least one female NBA referee, the time for a female coach is upon us. The question isn’t will the NBA one day have a woman as a full-time head coach, but when will it happen.

Thank you Becky Hammon for paving the way for women in sports and society!

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

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