A Chat with Rapid City Native and WNBA Great Becky Hammon [AUDIO]
Becky Hammon is getting ready to start the 15th season of her standout WNBA career from an unusual place – the bench.
The Rapid City native, former South Dakota Miss Basketball, and State Player of the Year, is out until at least late June with broken middle finger on her right hand. She suffered the injury in practice last Saturday.
Hammon has been a model of consistency in her first 14 seasons in the WNBA, the first eight with the New York Liberty, the last six with the San Antonio Silver Stars. She ranks in the Top Ten All-time in the league for minutes played, points scored, three-pointers made, free throws made, and assists. She’s a seven-time All-Star and one the WNBA’s Top 15 players of All-Time.
As for the future of women’s basketball, it arrived in a big way this season with the arrival of Brittney Griner, who makes her pro debut Monday with the Phoenix Mercury, after a standout career at Baylor.
A year ago, Becky was getting ready for her second stint with Team Russia in Olympic play. With the Russians in 2008, Becky brought home a bronze medal, last year her team finished fourth. But the experience the second time around was much different.
In her mid-30’s now, Becky says she has definitely been thinking about her life after her playing days in the WNBA are over in the next two or three years.
Becky played her college ball at Colorado State, where she was the WAC Player of the Year, and left as the league’s all-time leading scorer. While she was there, South Dakota Mr. Basketball John Sivesind was playing for the Rams’ men’s team.
That South Dakota – Fort Collins connection continues to this day with Yankton’s Colton Iverson just finishing his college career, and former USD women’s coach Ryun Williams now heading the Rams’ program.
Becky and the San Antonio Silver Stars are scheduled to play in Minneapolis twice this regular season, June 11th and August 2nd.