Fans Interview: Becky Hammon
Helping fans connect with their favorite players.
by Stephen Litel / @stephenlitel
In today’s installment of Fans Interview, seventeen year old high school junior Emily (@iheartsports22) wanted to interview Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars. Although she has not been able to attend a San Antonio home game, she has caught them on the road on a few occasions. Last year when on her way to the home opener in San Antonio, a tornado hit her family’s area and they were forced to return home to check out the damage. Of course, I am glad to know that both Emily and her family were safe.
As the editor of her high school newspaper, Emily is considering a career in sports writing. After seeing the great questions she came up with for Becky Hammon, I believe the future looks bright for her.
As someone who loves basketball, yet has little athletic potential, I am hoping to turn my passion for sports into a career someday. If you had not been able to play professional basketball, what type of career would you have pursued? Would you have chosen a career involving sports on gone a different route completely?
Becky Hammon: This is a great question, and there’s a lot of answers to it. If you love sports, love being around a team, etc, there’s so many things that you can do to be involved! I think if I wasn’t an athlete, I’d still want to be a part of athletics in some capacity. I think I’d be coaching, or possibly a sportscaster, that way, you’re right there close to the court/field right in the action! There’s also so many other jobs that you can do in regards to being in and around a team… Athletic training, weight training, public relations department, ticket sales, sports writing, and the list goes on and on.
You have a pretty unique pre-game warm-up routine, shooting not only jumpers and outside shots, but also lay-ups and finger-rolls right under the basket. When and why did you start doing this?
BH: I started developing my touch around the basket at a very early age. I’ve always played against bigger, faster, and stronger opponents (mainly my brother and his friends) so I had to learn to use angles and my brain to beat their athleticism. I try to use all areas of the backboard, and all sorts of angles, English, and spins on the ball, so all that takes a lot of practice to master. Before the game it just helps me get focused in, and gives me a feel for the backboards and ball.
You have consistently been one of the best free throw shooters, if not the best, in the league. Keeping the same routine while on the free throw line is obviously an important part of shooting free throws successfully. How long have you kept the same free throw routine that you use today?
BH: Routine and repetition is the key in becoming a great free throw shooter. I’ve had that routine since high school, and so I’ve done it literally thousands of times!!
Who is your favorite player to match-up against?
BH: I wouldn’t say there’s any one player I like to match up against. Although I can say, I do love to play against the best players in the league.
You are obviously a very competitive person, and I have heard you say that you enjoy playing Scrabble. What is your favorite game to play?
BH: I LOVE playing Scrabble, Boggle, Wheel Of Fortune, or any type of word game. I love playing poker too; basically if there’s a way to keep score I’ll probably like it.
What is your favorite “H.O.R.S.E” shot?
BH: I like shooting shots from behind the basket, shots that take a lot of judgment in angles and height. I can tell you my least favorite shot is the granny shot!! My dad used to beat me all the time with that stupid shot!
Last season you and Shanna Crossley had an interesting and unique player introduction routine (the lasso and hogtie). Any ideas for this season?
BH: Haha. well Shanna was the one coming up with most of the pregame intro stuff. so I’ll have to think of something myself this year. If you couldn’t tell, I don’t have one yet.
If someone was to create a soundtrack of your life, what song would you want to be the title track?
BH: Hmmm… there’s a song called,”Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman that I really like. Though my whole story isn’t finished yet!
You and VJ played more games together than any other two players in WNBA history. What is your best VJ memory?
BH: Ahh yes. I’ve got sooo many VJ memories and though we’ve had some unbelievable moments on the court, my best memories are of our conversations and things we’ve gone through together off the court. Life brought us closer together more than anything that happened on the basketball court. She’s someone who I’ll trust till the day I pass onto the afterlife, but right now, I can tell you that I miss her very much!
What advice do you have for those that look up to you and aspire to be like you?
BH: My advice is to try to be the best that you can be. Whether it’s me, a supermodel, a rocket scientist, the person next door, or whomever, don’t compare yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others is a battle that none of us can win. There will be always be someone better, more beautiful, more talented, etc. and if there’s not one right now, just wait a little bit, there will be! So don’t let your mind go in either direction, don’t think of yourself to be less than others, and don’t think of yourself to be better than others.
After you retire, what would you most like to be remembered for as a person?
BH: This is a great question, because I think many athletes want to be remembered for what they did on the court, which is fine, but I’d rather be remembered by my teammates, fans, people that I work with, as someone who treated everyone kindly. I’d like to be remembered as someone who united people, was a peacemaker, someone who treated people fairly, and as someone who helped other people. I love basketball, but I love and value people far more than anything I could possibly accomplish on the basketball court.
What would you most like to be remembered for as a basketball player?
BH: As a basketball player, I’d like to be known as someone who made everyone around me better, to be a great playmaker, someone who can pass, penetrate and finish, or penetrate and dish. I think my stature challenges people’s idea of what a basketball player looks like, and I think my style of play puzzles people’s minds. People ask me all the time, “How in the world do you do that stuff?” I’m not sure they even know “that stuff” is, but I guess if you do something enough, it’s not considered luck anymore. BUT, most importantly I’d like to be remembered on the court as someone who made the most of what God gave me. I made the most of my opportunities. Hopefully I made the most of the physical, mental, and emotional tools He gave me.
Basketball has given you so many opportunities and experiences. What is the biggest thing that you have taken away from the game?
BH: Friendships, and also it’s an amazing feeling to be able to help and impact other people’s lives.
What should Silver Stars fans expect from the team this season?
BH: We’re trying to win a Championship, plain and simple. No one’s going out there to finish in second, or third, or fourth, been there done that, we want to win it all!! It’ll be difficult, but I think we’ve got some great pieces in place to make a big run at it!