SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs have hired WNBA star Becky Hammon as an assistant coach.
The Spurs made the announcement Tuesday. Hammon plans to retire from the San Antonio Stars after this season. She joins South Carolina assistant Lisa Boyer, who served on John Lucas's staff in Cleveland in 2001-02, as women to coach in the NBA.
Hammon spent some time around the Spurs during last season's run to the championship, and coach Gregg Popovich says she made a strong impression.
"I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff," said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich in a statement. "Having observed her working with our team this past season, I'm confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs."
It's the latest trailblazing move for the Spurs, who hired European coaching legend Ettore Messina to join Popovich's staff earlier this summer.
She is the second woman named as a member of an NBA coaching staff. Lisa Boyer was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers coaching staff during the 2001-2002 season.
Per club policy terms of the contract were not announced.
Young fans speak out about Becky Hammon being named Spurs assistant coach
A few girls on the Spurs Youth Basketball League who were at the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio on Tuesday said they are pretty excited to see that a woman will be on the Spurs coaching staff.
Right now, Hammon plays for the WNBA's San Antonio Stars, but is expected to retire after her 16th season.
Hammon has already spent time working with the Spurs coaching staff and team, but now it's official, now that Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich has hired Hammon as an assistant coach.
Glorien Escalera, a member of the Spurs Youth Basketball League, said she admires and looks up to Hammon.
"I was surprised and happy at the same time, because she's a girl and she gets to help coach the boys," said Escalera. "It's good."
Leandra Villela said she's also looking forward to coaching someday.
"I was happy," said Villela. "I like basketball. She likes basketball. She's an assistant coach and I want to be like that too."
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