Assistant Coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Olympic Medalist, Six-Time WNBA All-Star
After an outstanding college and professional basketball career, including two Olympic appearances, Becky made history in 2014 when she became the first woman to coach full-time in the NBA when the San Antonio Spurs brought her into a leadership role as assistant coach. She made history again as the the first woman head coach to…
A seven-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon retired from the San Antonio Stars at age 37 and made an 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.
College – Colorado State University
The major colleges, however, thought she was too small, too slow and too South Dakota. Colorado State took a chance, and the 5-foot-6 point guard broke all of the Rams records 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 made a hard decision and 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.
NBA – San Antonio Spurs
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.
“I certainly never forget where I come from,” Hammon said. “There’s not a professional team in South Dakota anywhere, so I think the fact that they get a chance to interact with these professional athletes in unique situations, to be able to impact those young lives, hopefully that’s something they never forget. Hopefully I gave them a piece of knowledge or encouragement or something that will help them later on in life.”
That hospitality has still been present in Hammon’s career as an assistant coach. When Riherd got the boys head coaching job at Stevens High School two years ago, he called Hammon and asked her if he could come to San Antonio and watch a Spurs practice. When Riherd was down at a practice, Spurs head coach Greg Popovich came over to introduce himself and exchange some banter, which led to the subject of Hammon.
“Pop said, ‘Oh by the way, did she do to you what she’s doing to me?’ and I said, ‘I’m not sure,’” Riherd said. “And he said, ‘Damn, I think she’s after my job already.’”
She made history as the the first woman head coach to lead an NBA team in a regular season game when head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter of a Spurs game.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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