Ram legend Hammon reaches state hall of fame

Hammon_426Becky Hammon is taking her place among the greatest sports figures in Colorado’s history.

Hammon, a three-time All-American basketball player at CSU, was elected this week to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. She is the 18th athlete or coach with CSU ties to be enshrined but only the second female, joining swimming great Amy Van Dyken.

Hammon is part of a six-person hall of fame class that includes state basketball legend Chauncey Billups, to-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, longtime Limon High School coach Warren Mitchell, Denver baseball  pioneer John Dikeou and college football coaching legend John Gagliardi.

State basketball legend

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to be inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame class of 2015,” Hammon said. “I’m very proud and thankful for my Colorado State University experience and have always considered Colorado a second home. Many Coloradoans have helped in facilitating and assisting me throughout my career, and I’m forever grateful to the wonderful people of Colorado.”

Hammon is considered the greatest female college basketball player in the state’s history. She led the Rams to the most successful four-year stretch in program history, including a 33-3 record in 1998-99 that included a No. 4 national ranking and a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. She finished her career with 2,740 points – most by any player, male or female, in Western Athletic Conference history. Her record still stands.

A giant in the WNBA

The 5-6 native of Rapid City, S.D., went on to a stellar 16-year career in the WNBA, splitting time between the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars. She retired this summer, closing her career ranked in the top 10 in WNBA history in scoring, assists, steals and 3-pointers. She was named one of the 15 greatest players in WNBA history.

She was inducted into the CSU Sports hall of Fame in 2004, and her No. 25 jersey is one of just five retired numbers in CSU history.

Breaking new ground

Hammon’s impact on the game will continue in another history-making role. Shortly after she retired, she was named a full-time assistant coach for the defending NBA-champion San Antonio Spurs, becoming the first female assistant in one of the four major North American sports.

The Class of 2015 will be officially inducted April 2 at the Denver City Center Marriott.