Rebecca "Becky" Lynn Hammon, born March 11, 1977, is seven-time WNBA All-Star who retired from the San Antonio Stars at age 37 and made a historic leap across town to the Spurs, becoming the first paid, full-time female assistant coach in NBA history.
In high school, Hammon broke every Rapid City (S.D.) Stevens school record en route to capturing 1994-95 Gatorade South Dakota Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors, averaging 26 points, five steals and four rebounds as a senior. Hammon broke all of the Rams records at Colorado State University too, earning All-American recognition, winning the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the best senior player under 5-foot-8, and passing 11-year NBA veteran Keith Van Horn as the leading scorer—male or female—in Western Athletic Conference history.
In spite of all that, Hammon was not selected in the four-round 1999 WNBA draft. She signed with the New York Liberty, however, launching a 16-year career that earned her props as one of the top 15 players in WNBA history. In 2008, Hammon joined Russia’s national team and captured an Olympic bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. She played again for Russia in 2012, and on the plane ride back from London struck up a conversation with the man next to her: Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
In 2013, Hammon played just one WNBA game and tore her ACL. While injured, she unofficially interned with the Spurs, sitting behind the bench during home games, watching practices and attending film sessions. On August 5, 2014, Becky was hired by the Spurs.
One thing that hasn’t changed for Hammon is her South Dakota roots. Ron Riherd, Becky’s high school coach, went to see her play in the WNBA multiple times and remembers Hammon being endlessly accommodating to fans and admirers after games.
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