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More and more, it looks like coaching will be part of that plan.

Many traditionalists scoff at the notion of a female coach in charge of male college or pro players, but the South Dakota native is willing to challenge that stereotype. At the very least, there are quality female coaches needed in the NCAA women's or WNBA ranks, and her knowledge of the game is unquestioned.

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"I think it's time that some of those barriers come down," Hammon told the AP. "I think it's silly on a certain level. If you know and understand basketball, you know and understand basketball, period."

Becky Hammon has earned the respect of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.(Photo: AP)Becky Hammon made history Tuesday when she was hired to join the staff of the San Antonio Spurs, become the first full fledged female assistant coach in NBA history.

"I will admit early on in my career I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder," Hammon has said. "I was very motivated to prove people wrong."

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It's not surprising that her hard driving approach meshed well with Popovich, the San Antonio taskmaster widely viewed as one of the top coaches in recent NBA history.

The 37 year old San Antonio Stars point guard suffered a knee injury that wiped out her 2013 season and missed the first two games of the current campaign with a sprained ankle suffered during practice.

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Those absences have given the former Rapid City Stevens standout and seven time WNBA All Star time to ponder what her next move will be once her playing career ends.

Still, Hammon was viewed as too small for the WNBA, going undrafted before ultimately getting a chance with the Liberty, where she Converse High Tops Mens White

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rule out the possibility that Hammon could break new ground by coaching men's basketball when her playing career is over, Converse Limited Edition perhaps even working on an NBA staff.

Hammon ready to make history in NBA

Besides, Becky has battled the naysayers before.

The six time WNBA All Star and former Rapid City Stevens standout announced last month that she will end her playing career at the end of this season, her 16th in the league.

worked her way into the rotation and impressed coaches and teammates with her creative style and tenacity.

"There's a standard that he puts on them every day," Hammon said Converse Uk Sale

She ended up a two time All American and three time WAC Player of the Year at Colorado State, becoming the school's all time leading scorer with 2,740 points. As a senior, she led the Rams to a 33 3 record and a berth in the Sweet 16.

Joining the reigning champion Spurs represents a trailblazing career path for the hard driving Hammon, but it's not a big surprise.

She overcame a 2003 knee injury and was a three time All Star with New York before being traded to San Antonio in 2007.

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Undersized at 5 foot 6, she was lightly recruited coming out of Rapid City Stevens, where she emerged as a premier guard but failed to lead the Raiders to a title.

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recently of Popovich, who has won four NBA titles in 18 years with the Spurs. "You're expected to meet that standard and play to that standard. It doesn't matter if you're up 20 or it's a one point game. It's kind of a beautiful thing to watch."

"She's a basketball lifer," he said. "You can see it. She wants to keep learning."

Though honored as South Dakota's player of the year as a senior after averaging 26 points, the pesky point guard headed to Colorado State still trying to prove she was a big time talent.

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She suffered a bitter defeat in the state semifinals as a junior, when Mitchell's Erin Olson went coast to coast for a buzzer beater in the lane to give the Kernels an overtime victory despite Hammon's 29 points.

Hammon has typically served as a coach on the floor from her point guard spot through her prep career in South Dakota, college stint at Colorado State, rise to WNBA stardom and controversial Olympic experience with Russia.

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"She wants to coach after she's done," Popovich told the Associated Press. "Because she's not just a good player but a smart player, we gave her a chance to sit with us during the year. She came to our coaches' meetings, argued with us. She did everything. She's been wonderful."

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Hammon has forged a connection with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who invited her to attend his team's practices while she was sidelined following knee surgery last summer. She also attended film sessions and sat behind the bench for several games this season, getting a feel for how the coaching staff works.

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