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How many WNBA players have coached in the NBA?

When Becky Hammon joined the Spurs in 2014, she became the first WNBA player to coach in the NBA. (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former WNBA star Candice Dupree joined the NBA coaching ranks Friday.

The San Antonio Spurs brought on the seven-time All-Star as an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff, a position that provided a pipeline to success for Becky Hammon. Hammon worked as an assistant for the Spurs for eight seasons, then left earlier this year to lead the Las Vegas Aces to a WNBA title in her first season as a head coach.

When Hammon joined the Spurs in 2014, she became the first WNBA player to coach in the NBA. The number of WNBA players to follow her path remains slim but has grown over the last few years.

In total, 16 women have coached in the NBA. Dupree becomes the 10th current or former WNBA player to coach in the NBA, and she joins four other current or former WNBA players as active coaches in the men’s league.

WNBA players to coach in the NBA

Becky Hammon
San Antonio Spurs, 2014-22

After retiring in 2014 from the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, Hammon joined the Spurs and became the first woman to work as a full-time assistant coach in any of North America’s four major men’s professional leagues.

She also became the first woman to serve as an acting head coach in NBA history when Popovich was ejected from a game in December 2020.

She left the Spurs to join the Aces, and she led the team to a 26-10 record and a WNBA championship in her debut season.

Nancy Lieberman
Sacramento Kings, 2015-17

Lieberman coached the WNBA’s Detroit Shock from 1998-2000. Later, she coached the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League from 2009-11, becoming the first woman to coach a men’s professional basketball team.

In 2015, she was hired by the Kings as an assistant coach, and she spent two seasons with Sacramento.

Jenny Boucek
Sacramento Kings, 2017-18
Dallas Mavericks, 2018-21
Indiana Pacers, 2021-present

Boucek spent 18 seasons as an assistant and head coach in the WNBA before making the switch to the NBA.

She joined the Kings as a player development coach in 2017, then became an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks in 2018. In 2021, she jumped to the Indiana Pacers with head coach Rick Carlisle, who had hired her to his Mavericks staff.

Kristi Toliver
Washington Wizards, 2018-20
Dallas Mavericks, 2021-present

An active player in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks, Toliver also works as an assistant coach in the NBA. She started with the Wizards in 2018, during her time as a player for the Mystics, then switched to the Mavericks in 2021.

Niele Ivey
Memphis Grizzlies, 2019-20

Before she became the head coach of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, she spent the 2019-20 NBA season as an assistant with the Grizzlies.

Kara Lawson
Boston Celtics, 2019-20

Like Ivey, Lawson coached for one season with the Celtics before joining the college ranks as the coach of the Duke women’s team.

Lindsey Harding
Philadelphia 76ers, 2019
Sacramento Kings, 2019-present

Harding started her coaching career as a player development coach for the 76ers, then flipped to fill the same role for the Sacramento Kings.

Teresa Weatherspoon
New Orleans Pelicans, 2020-present

The five-time WNBA All-Star served as the head coach of her alma mater Louisiana Tech’s women’s basketball program for six seasons. She was named a part-time player development coach in 2019, then became a full-time assistant coach in 2020.

Edniesha Curry
Portland Trail Blazers (2021-22)

Curry worked as an assistant coach for the women’s and then the men’s basketball teams at University of Maine before joining the Trail Blazers in 2021.

Candice Dupree
San Antonio Spurs (2022-present)

A 2014 WNBA champion with the Phoenix Mercury, participated in the NBA Assistant Coaches Program (ACP), created to expand the player-to-coach pipeline, and joined the Spurs in September.

Cameron Brink likes Caitlin Clark for 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

Cameron Brink poses with Caitlin Clark at 2024 wnba draft in new york
Cameron Brink poses with fellow draftee — and possible WNBA ROY —Caitlin Clark. (Photo by Emily Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

Dash winger Maria Sanchez confirms trade request a day shy of NWSL deadline

María Sanchez of Houston Dash during a NWSL game
In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the club worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Maria Sanchez issued a statement on Thursday, confirming recent reports that she has requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

In it, she revealed that the club has been aware of the request "since late March."

"This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but I want to confirm that I’ve requested an immediate trade," she wrote. "My expectations and reasons have been clear. I trust that my current club’s management will honor my decision in a timely manner and proceed with accepting a trade."

"I’m eager to refocus and dive back into what I love most: playing football," she concluded.

Reports of Sanchez's trade request first surfaced on ESPN last week, and were later confirmed by multiple sources. 

In December of last year, Sanchez signed a three-year contract with the Dash valued at $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. It was the largest contract in NWSL history at the time — a figure that would be eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

Sanchez spent the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning that Houston could match any other team's offer to retain her rights. Should the Dash trade Sanchez, her current contract terms would remain intact, limiting potential buyers to teams able to afford to take on an inking of that size.

The Dash has yet to address the trade, instead reiterating to ESPN that Sanchez is "under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close tonight, April 19th, at 12 a.m. ET. The window will stay closed through the next 11 regular season games, reopening on August 1st, 2024.

Seattle Storm debut state-of-the-art $64 million practice facility

Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm during warms up during practice on July 11, 2020 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
Jewell Loyd, seen here practicing at Florida's IMG Academy, and her team are in for a major upgrade this season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

Mystics relocate game to accommodate Caitlin Clark fans

Maya Caldwell, Erica Wheeler, and Lexie Hull of the Indiana Fever celebrate Caitlin Clark
Get ready — Caitlin Clark is coming to town. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Caitlin Clark effect is quickly making its mark on the big leagues, as WNBA host teams around the country rush to upgrade their Fever games to larger arenas in order to accommodate surging ticket sales.

With Clark mere weeks away from her Indiana Fever debut, both the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics have officially relocated their scheduled home games with head coach Christie Sides' squad. On Thursday, the Mystics became the latest to adjust their plans, moving their June 7th matchup from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southwest DC to the more centrally located — and much larger — Capital One Arena "due to unprecedented demand."

The Mystics home court's capacity taps out at 4,200, while Capital One Arena — home to the Wizards, Capitals, and Georgetown Hoya's Men's Basketball — can fit nearly five times that crowd at some 20,000 spectators.

"The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts," the team announced via Thursday's press release.

The Aces were one of the first teams to switch venues, aiming to take on the Indiana Fever in front of as many as 20,000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena on July 2nd. That’s a sizable a boost from their home venue, which holds just 12,000.

For those still planning to face the Fever in their home arenas, ticket prices have skyrocketed. Previously scheduled construction has already forced the LA Sparks to relocate their first five games — including their May 24th clash with the Fever — to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. The temporary venue is quite the downsize, holding just 4,000 in comparison to Crypto.com Arena's near-19,000. As of Friday, the get-in price for that game started around $400.

Despite fans launching a Change.org petition urging relocation, the Chicago Sky say they're unable to move their June 23rd Fever meeting from Wintrust Arena's 10,000-seat facility to the 23,500-seat United Center due to a concert. Tickets for that game start around $325 as of Friday.

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