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Becky Hammon hired by Spurs, becomes 2nd woman to coach in NBA

The San Antonio Spurs have announced the hiring of WNBA star Becky Hammon as an assistant coach.

Ronald Martinez

The San Antonio Spurs hired Becky Hammon as an assistant coach on Tuesday afternoon. Hammon is the second woman to work on an NBA coaching staff, but the first to be a full-time employee.

Currently a member of the WNBA's San Antonio Stars, Hammon announced that she would be retiring from playing at the conclusion of this season. She has spent the last eight seasons with the Stars and has established her place as one of the league's greatest players. Her résumé includes 5,809 points (seventh in the league's history) and 1,687 assists (fourth in league history) in 445 games played.

Lisa Boyer served as a volunteer assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2001-02 season, but Hammon is the first woman to coach as a full-time employee. The 37-year-old Hammon became a six-time WNBA All-Star after a prolific college career at Colorado State. She set the WAC's all-time scoring mark during her time in college and left Colorado State as the record holder in points, three-pointers and assists.

Up to this point, Hammon is perhaps most well known for her decision to play for Russia in the 2008 Olympics after not being invited to try out for the U.S. team. She helped Russia to a bronze medal in 2008 after a loss to the United States in the semifinals of the tournament.

Hammon has spent time in the past working with the Spurs and was praised by members of the team during an NBA TV segment in March. Head coach Gregg Popovich continued that praise in the Spurs' announcement of the hire:

"I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff," said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. "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."

The Stars regular season concludes on Aug. 17. The Stars are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Spurs, of course, are the reigning NBA champions.

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