Back in August, Becky Hammon became a full-time assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, becoming the first full-time female coach in any of the four major professional sports in America. She's actually the second female coach overall, as Lisa Boyer was a volunteer assistant under coach Paul Silas for Cleveland Cavaliers in 2001-02.
Today Hammon was chosen as the Impact 25: espnW Woman of the Year. The inaugural list features group of women athletes, coaches, boardroom members, and influencers that have made the biggest mark on women in sports in the past year.
ESPN's Doris Burke sat down with coach Hammon for an interview during NBA Countdown. Here are some exerts from that interview.
Her thoughts on why she'd pick the NBA as her jumping-off point as a coach:
I think, for me, it was just the best opportunity available and the opportunity to learn under arguably the best coach in NBA history.
On her day-to-day responsibilities:
When you have a scout coming up, you're immersed in film, studying numbers and video, trying to get your scout tape and the scouting report.
On the impact the WNBA has had on her coaching opportunity:
Because without the WNBA, Pop doesn't get to observe me with my teammates. He doesn't get to observe me in the community......But without the WNBA, I never get this opportunity to learn basketball at a very high level.
On her message to young women and girls in basketball:
The mentality is changing. You know, if I had five dollars for every guy that walked up and challenged me to one-on-one, maybe I would have been retired by now and I wouldn't need a job. But the perception is changing. The scientific studies for this stuff are overwhelming -- sports are good for girls.
The interview has some very good insights from a hungry and successful basketball mind. Not just about basketball, but her impact on women in sports.
The first female president of the NBA players' association, Michele Roberts, Little League pitcher Mo'ne Davis, WNBA start Brittney Griner, UFC champion Ronda Rousey, and Tennis star Serena Williams are also honored.
Congratulations to Becky Hammon, a well-deserved choice.