By Ken Reed

Is there any logical reason why a female can’t coach male basketball players?

Are females incapable of grasping the intricacies of the pick-and-roll? Are they genetically unable to be passionate about basketball and highly competitive? Is it simply that women basketball coaches can’t communicate or motivate men?

All absurd concepts, right? Yet, the powers that be in pro and college sports continue to be biased toward the idea that men must coach men. The opposite isn’t the case. Tons of men coach women and girls in multiple sports, from youth leagues through the pro ranks. Does that symbolically communicate our true belief as a society, that men inherently are superior to women as sports coaches and strategists?

Well, Becky Hammon isn’t buying in, and thankfully for all progressive-thinking sports lovers, neither is Gregg Popovich and the rest of the San Antonio Spurs’ ownership and management team.

Hammon, the former Colorado State great and long-time WNBA star, is the head coach of the Spurs summer league team, the first woman ever to hold such a title. Hammon was also the first paid female assistant coach in the NBA this past season.

“I’m glad Pop didn’t really care if I was a boy or a girl,” said Hammon recently. “He just said, ‘OK, this mind knows basketball and let’s bring that mind aboard.’ All that anatomy didn’t matter.”

Hammon is aware that she’s charting new territory for female basketball coaches. She’s not running from that but she also wants to just be seen as a basketball coach.

“I don’t want to downplay it,” she said. “At the same time, I just want to coach. It is a big deal, but then it’s not a big deal, kind of in the same breath.”

It is a big deal today. But hopefully, it won’t be for long.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.