Becky Hammon is one step closer to reaching the pinnacle of the NBA coaching ladder. The San Antonio Spurs announced on Wednesday that the 41-year-old assistant coach has been promoted. She will fill the role former Spurs assistant coach James Borrego occupied before he was hired as the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets in May.
The promotion means that instead of sitting in the first row behind the Spurs’ bench with other assistants, Hammon will sit on the bench with head coach Gregg Popovich and his other top assistants.
After closing out a 16-year career in the WNBA, Hammon joined the Spurs as an assistant in 2014, becoming the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history.
“I started my career with the New York Liberty, and I got traded down to San Antonio in 2007. Basically, stayed and made it my home,” she said in her Spurs Story. “After the 2013-2014 season, I had tore my ACL, so I had to stay here instead of going overseas to play, and dipped my head in on some practices with the Spurs, and it kind of turned into an every day thing. And so that’s how I ended up getting on staff with the Spurs.”
Since joining the team’s staff, Hammon has served as the head coach of their Las Vegas Summer League teams in 2015 and 2016, and led the squad to a Summer League championship.
“I can’t tell you just how many women come up to me and they’re so proud—and men too,” she told For The Win in 2016. “Dads that have daughters and sisters and mothers, they’re just so genuinely excited that doors and opportunities are now being opened.”
Earlier in 2018, Hammon was a top candidate when the Milwaukee Bucks were looking to fill their head coaching position.
Will we eventually see a woman occupying that first seat on an NBA bench? The odds are we will, and Hammon will likely be the one making history again.