As a 5-foot-6 point guard, decorated WNBA veteran Becky Hammon has never had the experience of shattering a backboard with a dunk. Shes busting through the glass ceiling instead. The San Antonio Spurs hired Hammon as an assistant coach on Tuesday, making her the first full-time, paid female assistant on an NBA coaching staff. When Hammon retires from her 16-year WNBA career at the end of the San Antonio Stars season, she will immediately move to the staff of the defending NBA champions, working with the revered Gregg Popovich on scouting, game-planning and the day-to-day grind of practice like no woman has ever done before. "Nothing in my life has really ever been easy. Ive always been someone who did it uphill," Hammon said. "Im up for challenges. Im up for being outside the box, making tough decisions and challenges. ... And Im a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. Throw those all in there and this was the perfect challenge and opportunity." That makes her fit right in with the Spurs, an organization with a reputation for bold decisions. Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford have long been at the forefront of the leagues international influx and earlier this summer hired European coaching legend Ettore Messina as an assistant. During the 2001-02 season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Lucas brought Lisa Boyer into the teams practices and some games. Boyer, now an assistant at South Carolina, was not paid by the Cavaliers and did not travel with the team, but did work with the players and coaches that season. "I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff," Popovich said in a statement released by the team. "Having observed her working with our team this past season, Im confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs." But Popovich and Buford were not available in person and Hammon had the spotlight entirely to herself. "Congratulations to Becky on todays announcement," Boyer said in a statement. "Its a great thing for her and for the NBA. I am still so thankful to John Lucas for giving me the opportunity to work with his NBA team during my time with the Cleveland Rockers. His staff and players welcomed me as a coach, and it was an incredible experience for me to spend that season with them." Last season, Hammon attended Spurs practices, film sessions and sat behind the bench at home game after suffering a torn ACL that kept her from playing. Shes been friends with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan since competing in an NBA All-Star shooting competition in 2008, a familiarity that will help as she makes her transition to coaching the two stars. "As far as women coaching men, its really silly. People ask me all the time, will there ever be a woman player in the NBA?" Hammon said. "To be honest, no. There are differences. The guys are too big, too strong and thats just the way it is. "But when it comes to things of the mind, things like coaching, game-planning, coming up with offensive and defensive schemes, theres no reason why a woman couldnt be in the mix and shouldnt be in the mix." Its been a long time coming for female basketball players and coaches who have long dreamed of getting a chance in the NBA. "I was so excited and pleased and the one thing that people have to remember is that the San Antonio Spurs dont do anything for effect," said Nancy Lieberman, a former star player who was a head coach in the NBA Development League in 2009 and now serves as the GM of the Texas Legends. "Thats not who they are. They dont do this for the record-breaking barrier. They do things out of respect. "And the fact that coach Popovich has this much respect for Beckys basketball IQ, for how she handles herself with the guys in practice, her ability to relate to them, Im sure he saw so much when she was working with them last fall. Im sure he didnt hire her because she was a woman. Im sure he hired her because she was the best person for the job." "This will open the door for other women, even like myself," Lieberman added. "My goal is to coach in the NBA and youve got to start somewhere. So this is a great day." Charlotte Hornets sideline reporter Stephanie Ready, who served as an assistant on the Coppin State mens team as well as in the D-League, called Popovich the perfect person to hire Hammon "because hes proven he has a tremendous track record and he does not make bad decisions." "Thats the first step, having the precedent set is very important," Ready said. "A lot of it also is now women will know these jobs are available. In the past, a lot of women probably didnt try because they didnt think it was possible. I think you may very well see an increase in seeing some females hired." Hammon has a reputation of being a smart, hard-nosed, tough-minded player. She made six All-Star teams and averaged 13.1 points in her 16 seasons with the Stars and New York Liberty. Hammon was receiving congratulatory messages from all over, including from Lieberman, Boyer and Lakers star Kobe Bryant. "I love seeing people Ive been involved with have an opportunity in life to have these types of experiences," said Stars coach Dan Hughes, who has coached Hammon for eight years. "This one is unique. Shes ready for it, shell do a great job." Even tennis great Billie Jean King weighed in on the hire, congratulating the Spurs for acquiring "a key person based on their qualifications and not allowing gender to play a role in their decision." But like it was only a matter of time before a woman got a chance to coach in the NBA, its also only a matter of time before said coach finds herself in Popovichs crosshairs. "Im sure Pop will be yelling at me soon enough," Hammon said, "with the rest of them." Anders Bjork Jersey
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.com Tours season-opening Colombia Championship on Sunday, breaking the course record with an 8-under 63 in the completion of the third round before rain washed out play. ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Kansas City Royals have gotten some relief help, acquiring veteran reliever Jason Frasor from the Texas Rangers for Triple-A right-hander Spencer Patton. The trade was made Wednesday, the same day Patton was in the Triple-A All-Star game. The Rangers assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock. Frasor was 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 38 appearances this season, his second in Texas. The right-hander spent nine seasons with Toronto (2004-12), returning to the Blue Jays after being traded to the White Sox in July 2011 and finishing that season in Chicago. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said catcher Geovany Soto will be activated from the disabled list before Fridays game at Toronto and set for his season debut in the majors after knee surgery. The injury-plagued Rangers (38-57) went into the All-Star break with the worst record in the major leagues. They were 21 games behind AL West-leading Oakland. Daniels said the deal with the Royals is "just a good baseball trade and we like the return" and not any indication that Texas will start unloading potential free-agent players, such as the 36-year-old Frasor. "Its not necessarily related to anything else we may do," Daniels said. "Were certainly going to listen. I think the closer guys are to free aagency, its just the more natural those conversations are to take place.dddddddddddd But were still going to make good baseball trades at this point." Kansas City (48-46) is second in the AL Central, 6 1/2 games behind Detroit. To make room on their roster for Frasor, the Royals optioned Louis Coleman to Omaha and designated utility player Jimmy Paredes for assignment. Patton is 4-3 with a 4.08 ERA and 14 saves in 34 relief appearances for Triple-A Omaha this season. The 26-year-old righty has 60 strikeouts in 46 1-3 innings while holding opponents to a .161 batting average. In 624 major league games, Frasor is 31-35 with 36 saves and a 3.65 ERA. Soto had surgery for torn cartilage in his right knee after getting hurt near the end of spring training. Before that, he had been limited to only six spring games because of a surgical procedure on his left foot. The Rangers acquired Soto from the Chicago Cubs at the non-waiver trading deadline in 2012. He hit .245 with nine homers in 54 games last season for the Rangers. Soto was arrested last week and charged with misdemeanour possession of marijuana under two ounces after a traffic stop by police in Grapevine, Texas. He was released on $500 bail and has apologized to his family, the Rangers organization and fans. Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys
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