The history of women's foray into this sport is relatively recent if we consider that the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) had its first official game in 1997
From that moment on, some players have won Pan American, national and Olympic medals and who have continued to be linked to the sport as coaches with impressive records, awards, and recognition. Among them we can mention:
Kimberly Duane Mulkey
She is currently the coach of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers women's basketball team in the United States.
From an early age, Kim was one of the first girls to play basketball in the United States, initially as a student in the state of Louisiana as a team member at Nesom Junior High School in Tickfaw and then at Hammond High School, making four consecutive championships. An excellent student, with a perfect 4.0 GPA, she earned academic honors at Louisiana Tech, earning her a spot in the University of America's Sports Information Directors Academic Hall of Fame.
Her impressive sports career represented her as a Pan American gold medal in 1983 and a gold medalist at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Her name is registered as the first person in the history of the sport of women's basketball by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) to be a national champion as a player, assistant coach, and then head coach. In her career, she has accumulated accolades at Baylor in the years 2005, 2012, and 2019 and she is inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2023 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In addition, she has won awards in her role as coach of the year in 2012 by the Russell Athletic / WBCA National Coach of the Year and in the years 2012, 2019, and 2021 by the Associated Press College Basketball.
Rebecca Lynn "Becky" Hammond
This athlete, born in South Dakota, United States, was part of the New York Liberty team in which she was co-captain and later joined the San Antonio Stars, based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2014 she decided to retire as a player and start her career as a coach and became an assistant to the San Antonio Spurs team, where from 2015 she became their head coach and they won the championship in the National Basketball Association Summer League (NBA Summer League).
In 2020, she became the first female coach to train for the NBA, and at the end of December 2021, she was officially hired as the head coach of the WNBA Las Vegas Aces team, being the highest-paid coach in the entire history of this association.
At the end of the season, she was named WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) Coach of the Year, a distinction that other women basketball players and coaches of women's teams have received in other years: Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx team in 2011 and Sandy Brondello coach of the Phoenix Mercury team in 2014.
Other women in this list of basketball coaches are:
Jenny Boucek (Indiana Pacers)
Kristi Toliver (Dallas Mavericks)
Teresa Weatherspoon (New Orleans Pelicans)
Sonia Raman (Memphis Grizzlies) was the first Indian American woman to be named an NBA assistant.
Edniesha Curry (Portland Trail Blazers)
Brittni Donaldson (G-league) is the youngest in history to be part of an NBA coaching staff.
Natalie Nakase (G-League)
On the other hand, there are 6 female referees, the largest number in NBA history.
Three women with majority ownership of NBA teams.
86 women currently hold positions in operational areas.
In the area of sports-related media in 2020, ESPN analyst Doris Burke was the first female game analyst for the League's Finals.
We can mention other names that work as broadcasters, commentators, and reporters, such as Lisa Byington, Kate Scott, Sarah Kustok, Lisa Salters, and Beth Mowins.
The NBA has an increasingly high female quota among its members apart from its male athletes.
In summary, this sport, traditionally practiced and directed by men, has been articulated with the 12 female basketball teams, whose motto is "Watch Me Work" and who, since its first season in 1997, have been inspiring girls in primary and secondary schools, so that they practice it and why not, become major league coaches like the ones mentioned in this article have achieved it.