WNBA Star Lindsey Harding Becomes Philadelphia 76ers' First Female Coach

Philadelphia 76ers coach Lindsey Harding looks on prior to the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Philadelphia.
Photo: Chris Szagola (AP Images)

Lindsey Harding is used to breaking records. During her time as a guard at Duke, she became only the sixth player in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals. In 2007, she was named the Naismith College Player of the Year and won the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year. That same year, she was the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft, taken by the Minnesota Lynx, and made the 2007 All-Rookie team. Harding would spent nine seasons playing for a host of teams until her retirement in 2016.

She wasn’t out of the game for long though, as the Philadelphia 76ers would make her the first African American woman to be a full-time scout for the team in 2018 and, in just eight months, the 34-year-old has become the first female assistant coach in the franchise’s 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,” Sixers general manager Elton Brand told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harding is now the seventh female assistant coach in the NBA, joining groundbreaking Becky Hammon, who became the first full-time assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

Other women on NBA coaching staffs include: Natalie Nakase for the Los Angeles Clippers, Karen Stack Umlauf for the Chicago Bulls, Kristi Toliver with the Washington Wizards, and Jenny Boucek of the Sacramento Kings.

Brand is already worried that he won’t have Harding as the team’s assistant coach of player development for long.


“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 said, adding that he believes the WNBA standout has a chance to become the first female NBA head coach.

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Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.