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Pelicans hire former WNBA player Teresa Weatherspoon as assistant coach

The New Orleans Pelicans will join a number of teams around the leagues with female coaches. ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pelicans are hiring former WNBA legend Teresa Weatherspoon as an assistant coach for the 2019-20 season:

Weatherspoon was one of the first stars of the WNBA. She played seven seasons for the New York Liberty, making five All-Star teams in the process. Weatherspoon also hit the most memorable shot in WNBA history, nailing a game-winner from the half-court line in Game 2 of the 1999 WNBA Finals.

After a legendary playing career, Weatherspoon took over as the head coach for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters, compiling a 99-71 record between 2008 and 2014. She was voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Weatherspoon joins a growing list of women that have joined the NBA coaching ranks.  Of course, some–like San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon–are more high-profile than others, but there are seven women currently holding positions on NBA coaching staffs.

New Orleans seems like the perfect fit for Weatherspoon, who will join the organization in the capacity of player development. Indeed, the Pelicans have a host of young players that will play a definitive role in the growth of the franchise over the next few seasons.

With Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram joining forces with Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans are a popular pick as a dark horse to make the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference.

Weatherspoon will look to help Alvin Gentry and co. maximize his group’s talent.