Ram great Hammon earns two historic WNBA honors

Becky Hammon wrapped up her stellar WNBA career in 2014 and is now an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. She’s the first female full-time assistant coach in the NBA.

Becky Hammon is having one amazing week.

The former CSU basketball star and groundbreaking NBA coaching pioneer is being honored in a big way, being named one of the WNBA’s finest players and having her jersey retired by the San Antonio Silver Stars. And it’s all taking place within a five-day period.

One of the WNBA’s 20 greatest

The accolades began Tuesday when the WNBA celebrated its 20th anniversary by naming the 20 greatest players in the league’s history. Hammon made that list after being named to the top 15 players list five years ago when the league celebrated its 15th anniversary.

When she retired following the 2014 season, the 16-year-WNBA veteran was remembered as one of the greatest players the women’s game had seen. At the time she ranked seventh in WNBA history in points (5,841), fourth in assists (1,708), second in 3-pointers made (829) and sixth in games played (450).

Saturday, Hammon will become the first player in Silver Stars history to have her jersey retired. The ceremony will take place following the 6 p.m. MDT game between the Stars and Atlanta Dream at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Hammon was a six-time all-star and was the top vote-getter on the Silver Stars all-decade team. She retired in 2014 and remains the Stars’ all-time leader in career assists (1,133), 3-point field goals made (498), and points per game (15.6).

Hanging out in the rafters

The six-time WNBA All-Star led the Stars to the Western Conference Finals in 2008. Hammon received All-WNBA first-team honors in 2007 and 2009, and was a second-team selection in 2005 and 2008. Additionally, she won the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2014.

This will not be the first time Hammon has seen her jersey raised to the rafters. CSU retired her jersey in 2005, and it still hangs in the rafters at Moby Arena. She remains one of five student-athletes to earn that honor at CSU.

CSU retired Hammon’s No. 25 jersey in 2005. Only four other CSU student-athletes have had their jerseys retired.

Hammon, who grew up in Rapid City, S.D., is inarguably the greatest female college basketball in the state’s history. Starting with the 1995-96 season, she and her teammates helped put CSU’s program on the map.

Historic run at CSU

Her four-year run with the Rams was the greatest the state has ever seen. She not only established the Western Athletic Conference career scoring record – male or female – with 2,740  points, the 5-foot-6 guard led the Rams to unprecedented success.

The 1998-99 Rams finished 33-3, won the WAC title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. She won the Francis Pomeroy Naismith Award as the best senior player under 5-8, and she won All-American honors three times. She was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

She made history last year when San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made her the first female full-time assistant coach in NBA history.