While in high school in South Dakota, Becky Hammon was named South Dakota Miss Basketball as a junior. The following year, Hammon averaged over 26 points per game as a senior, which led her to enroll at Colorado State University to continue her basketball career. As a player at Colorado State, Hammon was a prolific offensive player, ending her career with the all-time points, points per game, assists, field goals, free throws, three-pointers, and steals records. Hammon also has the top four single-season points records, top four single-season three-point records, and top two single-season assists records.
At the end of her incredible college career, Hammon went undrafted, but soon signed with the New York Liberty. Hammon went on to play half her career with the Liberty as the backup, and eventually, became the starting point guard for eight seasons tota. Hammon finished her career with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
During her time in the WNBA, Hammon was a six-time All-Star and four-time All-WNBA player, and was also a member of the US and Russian National Teams.
In July 2013, Hammon had a knee injury that sidelined her playing career for the remainder of the season. Following the rehabilitation of her knee, Hammon joined the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff as an assistant in 2014, making it the first job of her coaching career. Accepting this position also made Hammon the second female coach in NBA History.
In 2015, Hammon became the first-ever head coach of an NBA Summer League team, leading the Spurs to a Summer League championship title. One of her players, Treveon Graham, commented on the experience with Hammon.
“She was great,” Graham said. “She was just like any other coach. She told us what we needed to do to go out there and perform. It’s great to be able to play with her for her first Summer League, so it was a great experience.”
Hammon began gaining notoriety around the league and was rumored for various open positions. Hammon even interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks for their GM position in 2017 and in June 2021, she was a finalist for the Portland Trailblazers head coaching position, but the job ended up going to NBA legend Chauncey Billups.
During her time with the Spurs, Hammon moved her way up the ranks of the coaching staff, eventually becoming a front-bench coach. On December 30, 2020, Hammon became the first woman to be the active head coach of an NBA team when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected.
Hammon’s time in the NBA pushed gender boundaries to places previously unseen, becoming the first woman to hold a variety of positions on an NBA team.
On New Year’s Eve 2021, the Las Vegas Aces announced that they hired Hammon to serve as their new Head Coach and General Manager. This deal made Hammon the highest-paid coach in WNBA history. Hammon will lead a stacked Aces team that should compete for the WNBA Championship this summer. In the meantime, Hammon will continue her coaching role with the Spurs, and will continue to be an inspiration to women and girls as a leader in sports.
“I couldn't be prouder than to come back to the [WNBA]...It's where I'm from,” Hammon said when asked about her new role. “We would not even be having this conversation if it wasn't for the WNBA, so I couldn't be happier to come back and give back.”