Rebecca Hammon, Becky on the court, did she inspire the basketball players of the France team, who started their world championship with a victory Thursday, September 22 in Australia? Inspiring, she certainly is. At 45, the former player became this weekend the first female NBA coach crowned in her first year, with the Las Vegas Aces team.
“Las Vegas wins its first major professional title”, announces the speaker of the room. Immediately on social networks, Beckie is overwhelmed with messages from basketball players and even basketball coaches. “Hey Coach Hammon, says one of these tributes. Congratulations on this first WNBA championship title! From the Colorado State Women’s Team. We are proud of you!“
Colorado is where she was in college and where she still holds all the player records: 2740 points, 918 shots. After 14 years of career and records as a professional player, her CV is growing since she has also just been named coach of the year.
A success with a taste of revenge
No NBA club (the American men’s basketball championship) had wanted to entrust him with the position of head coach. Yet she had been the full-time assistant to the man who coached the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, for eight years.
The men of the time, like the women today, today praise his foresight in the game and a very sound management. But contrary to what one might think, nothing in his career has ever come across to him. At first, the little blonde kid who hits the ball around her parents’ house in Dakota just imagines herself as a basketball teacher.
But from high school, she turns out to be an extraordinary shooter. Except that we tell her that she is too small (she is 1m68i) and too slow. Later, she struggles to find a faculty, not to mention the coaches of the American Olympic team who will not want her. In 2008, she dreamed of the Games so much that she finally agreed to take Russian nationality to go to Beijing. This will earn her the worst insults, but she becomes a star in Russia and returns with the Olympic bronze.
Sharks, barracuda and Vladimir Putin
When, at a press conference, journalists ask him the secret of this success, a few days ago, there was a long silence. And then this formula:I just do me.” In French : “I am just me.“A great self-confidence characterizes Becky Hammon. She also says to herself”adrenaline junkie“.
About ten years ago, she snorkeled around her father’s boat in Florida. And as she wants to see the nurse sharks closer, she shouts to her father who is on the boat: “Throw the bait over here!“. The bait is a molasses of fish, bones and blood, and her in the middle. Inevitably, a 1.50m shark leaps. They are forced to use the harpoon gun to scare him away.
She says she also happened to be chased by a barracuda, that she dreams of skydiving, that she is one of those people “who must do it to conquer their fear”. This summer, in the name of her Russian past, in any case, she was not afraid to appeal to Vladimir Putin to try to free the American star player Brittney Griner, arrested in February with cannabis oil in electronic cigarette tanks. It wasn’t enough at this point. But the Hammon legend continues to be written.