NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – On a basketball court in Frisco, Nancy Lieberman doesn’t see boys and girls. She sees only players.
After the San Antonio Spurs made the announcement that Becky Hammon will be the first paid female assistant coach in NBA history, Lieberman said she’s starting to feel the same about coaching staffs. She says the announcement is a breakthrough.
“It is a glorious day in the history of the NBA,” Lieberman said, adding, “I want to be one of those coaches that hopefully gets an opportunity to coach in the NBA. There are 29 teams and they might look at this [announcement] and go, ‘Wow! Why didn’t we think of hiring some qualified women that could help us?’”
Lieberman is a trailblazer herself. She’s the general manager of the Texas Legends, the Mavericks Development League Team.
Lieberman actually started as a coach with the Texas Legends, making her the first female coach for a professional men’s team. She was also the only woman to ever play in a men’s professional sports league — the United States Basketball League in the 80’s.
Nona Yarbough is a little girl learning a valuable lesson at the sports camp.
“Now girls get the same respect as the boys. And more girls can coach in the NBA now, because they’ll probably be hiring more girls,” the 9-year-old said plainly.
MaKenna Long is another player at the basketball camp and she knows there are no limits to her dreams.
“That maybe one day I can become the coach of an NBA team too, [that is] when I retire from basketball,” she said smiling.
Hammon, who is wrapping up a 16-season playing career in the WNBA, will join the Spurs coaching staff next season.
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