In 2013 my wife and I learned that we would be parents. Shortly thereafter I discovered not only would I be a father, but specifically a father of a daughter. As the oldest of two boys, all of my heroes tended to be men. Throughout my childhood, the athletes, politicians, and super heroes I paid attention to were predominantly men. With a little girl about to join the household, I began seeking out female role models.
As a Spurs fan, I was automatically also a San Antonio Silver Stars fan, who eventually shortened their name to the San Antonio Stars. Their star player, Becky Hammon, had quite a story. With no WNBA in existence during her childhood, Hammon had to be her own guiding light. Setting aside her role as a trailblazer in the sport of basketball, she had overcome obstacles throughout her life to become a cornerstone of the sport.
Intrigued, I was gifted a ticket to the Stars’ last regular season, which also served as Hammon’s retirement party. As I sat in the arena, I learned more in one night about Hammon that I had known previously. I walked out at the end of the night with commemorative t-shirt that I wrapped up for my one-year-old daughter.
As it turned out, the Stars game was not their last. They made the playoffs and there would be one more game at the AT&T Center. I got tickets for my wife, daughter, and myself and made sure to get a photo to let my daughter know she was there.
My daughter has become a Spurs fan. She knows all the players and coaches, and you can bet she knows who Becky Hammon is. There hasn’t been a lot of discussion about Hammon’s “firsts” or any of her credentials “as compared to a man” because her accomplishments stand for themselves outside of any demographic labeling. It is my sincere hope that my daughter is one of a generation of men and women who are being raised to expect a coach of Becky Hammon’s acumen to be on the bench of a major sports team.
Here in San Antonio, my daughter and I have been doing our best to document the murals in and around San Antonio. This past week a beautiful mural was noticed right near where we live. So yesterday we popped in the truck and went to take a look.
The piece, painted by Sebastian Boileau, features the Spurs assistant coach over the San Antonio skyline while a young girl in a Hammon jersey holding a basketball looks up at her.
Becky has also made an appearance to get a photo next to the newest iconic Spurs mural in town.
With so much unknown about the future of the NBA or the Spurs upcoming season, it is good to know that the Spurs plan to have Hammon on the sidelines as long as possible. With so many teams vying for the best chances to up their game next season, Becky is in high demand and could be gone before she can be handed the torch from head coach Gregg Popovich.
On the other hand, Pop is coaching in the Olympics next season which are scheduled to overlap with the NBA postseason.
Here’s to hoping that Pop, Hammon, and the Spurs stay the course on the sideline and make the necessary adjustments to reflect that on the court.
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