A multitude of words come to mind when describing Becky Hammon, a woman who spent a majority of her career proving critics wrong. A career which exuded dedication, perserverance, and heart. The ultimate professional, Hammon has inspired many with her efforts on and off the court.
A lifelong fan of the San Antonio Spurs, I began watching the WNBA in 2008, and naturally became a Stars’ fan once I discovered the team. While watching my first game, I was immediately drawn to Hammon. Her behind the back passes and reverse layups were amusing, even though I was not fully aware of what was happening. However, her infectious smile and flashy play-making ability, not only made her become my first favorite WNBA player, but also my favorite female athlete.
As I got older, I was able to appreciate her on a completely different level. What started as a simple childhood fascination developed into inspiration.
During her career, Hammon proved her physical limitations would not serve as a hinderance. Growing up as a soccer player, I was never the biggest or strongest on the field. Therefore, I looked to her when I felt I could not achieve the goals I set for myself before each season. Many times I would think of her, and how she never stopped once doubt started to creep in. With her as a main source of motivation, I would go on to start every game I played since my sophomore year.
From going undrafted out of Colorado State to becoming an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Hammon has always remained humble. Despite being a trailblazer during her career, she never lost sight of where she started. Another aspect I have tried to immulate in many facets of my life.
Although I have not had the privelage to meet her, one of the biggest lessons I have taken from Hammon’s lasting legacy is that it is okay to relentlessly chase your dreams. Additionally, getting knocked down does not equate to being defeated. The epitome of an underdog, Hammon showed it’s okay to be told “no”, but what comes after is ultimately your decision.
Hammon has made an everlasting impact on my life in several fashions, and has done the same for many others. Her jersey number retirement is just another milestone in her distuingished career. So thank you.
Thank you for your continued passion and commintment to your fans.
Thank you for teaching me to believe in myself, even if no one else did.
Thank you for making me smile, scream, jump, and cry due to your heroics on the court.
Thank you for being a phenomenal role model.
And lastly, thank you for never giving up.
“You never know what your journey has in store. You just work hard and keep your nose to the grind. You do things the right way, you treat people the right way, and good things happen.” – Becky Hammon