The Philadelphia 76ers have made an addition to their coaching staff after losing assistant coach Billy Lange.
According to Philly.com’s Marcus Hayes, the Sixers have promoted Lindsey Harding from pro scout to player development coach on Monday.
The Sixers’ Lindsey Harding just became the seventh female coach the NBA has had. 👏 GM Elton Brand expects her to head her own team someday: “I don’t think she’ll be at the player-development level for very long.” https://t.co/KMA32nLxkQ
Harding was originally hired last summer as a scout but has since quickly made her way up the promotional ladder. She becomes the seventh female assistant coach in the NBA and the first in Sixers’ history.
“After we interviewed her this summer, everyone I spoke to about her said how driven she was and that her knowledge of the game was impeccable,” said Sixers general manager Elton Brand.
He expects Harding to head her own team sooner than later: “Whether that’s the NBA or a collegiate program — I don’t think she’ll be at the player-development level for very long.”
Brand was the Vice President of basketball operations when Harding became available last summer after her year in the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associate Program. The initiative gives participants a glimpse of NBA jobs, from the league office through officiating.
A half-dozen teams courted Harding, but she said the Sixers offered her what she really wanted: choices.
“I wanted to get my foot in the door,” Harding tells Hayes. On-court coaching opportunities. Other front-office opportunities. Other scouting opportunities.” Adding, “the feeling here, the vibe, the support, growth — the belief in me…Knowing that I know the game.”
Lindsey Harding was moving the ball well in a 75-57 win for the Sparks over the Mystics. Harding set a new career high for assists with 14. Harding also contributed 11 points in the victory.
The former Duke star joins a budding group of women who have taken a spot on coaching staffs in the league.
Becky Hammon became the first full-time female NBA assistant in 2014 with the Spurs and is now Gregg Popovich‘s top assistant. Kristi Toliver coaches for the Wizards, Jenny Boucek for the Mavericks, Natalie Nakase for the Clippers, and Karen Stack Umlauf for the Chicago Bulls.
Harding was the No. 1 overall pick out of Duke in the 2007 WNBA draft. She played nine seasons in the WNBA, and she played for seven European teams as well.