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Updated on Wednesday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Women’s basketball has been a weak spot for the Florida Gators athletic program for quite a while but that may very well change if Florida is able to reach into the pro ranks and tab San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon as the team’s new head coach.
According to SwishAppeal.com, the Gators are “zeroing in” on Hammon, one of three reported finalists, for the job. Hammon, 40, is expected to visit Gainesville, Florida, before the end of the week. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Wednesday that Hammon is a candidate for the job.
The other two finalists for the job have not been named at this time, though a source told OnlyGators.com that neither Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer nor Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell are candidates for the job, as was previously reported by another outlet.
A former star at Colorado State, Hammon went undrafted when she turned pro but starred for 16 years in the WNBA as the floor general for the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars. Hammon was a six-time WNBA All-Star selection who is regarded by the league as one of its top 15 players of all time.
Following her playing career, Hammon was hired by Greg Popovich as an assistant with the Spurs, where she has coached since 2014. She was the first full-time female coach in NBA history. Hammon got her first taste at being a head coach in the summer of 2015 when she not only led San Antonio’s summer league team but won a title.
As Hammon is currently coaching the No. 2 team in the Western Conference, it is unknown when she would be able to leave the NBA and assume college coaching duties should she be plucked away by Florida or another program. The NBA Playoffs do not end until mid-June.