WNBA star Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars is also a HUGE star in Russia as a member of the Russian Olympic Team and Russian Euro League Teams. Becky took some time out to tell us what she loves about the people and culture of Russia.
Becky Hammon is the archetype of the scrappy underdog: She came out of obscurity from South Dakota, played college ball at Colorado State and went on to make the New York Liberty roster as a walk-on. A few years later she was traded to San Antonio where she is currently the franchise player the Silver Stars are built around. She has sick handles that even the best players in the world have a tough time defending, she drops pretty dimes to her teammates, and the six-time WNBA All-Star is clutch when her team needs a bucket.
In 2008 Hammon stirred up a lot of emotions when she made the decision to play for the Russian Olympic team. Hammon was hounded relentlessly by U.S. fans and the media for the decision, but she has become an international icon in Europe and the Eastern Bloc, where for nearly a decade she has spent six to eight months of the year playing in the Euroleague, mostly for Russian teams. So it wasn't a stretch for her to apply for dual citizenship and drastically improve the guard play of the Russian National Team. The move ultimately led to a bronze medal for Becky and Team Russia in 2008, and during the 2012 London games, Hammon has led Russia in scoring with 10.8 points, 3.8 assists and now she has an opportunity to get Russia to the gold medal game for the first time since 2006. Today in the Olympic semifinals, Russia faces France, the winner advances to the gold medal game to face the United States.
We caught up with Becky Hammon to find out just what she loves and appreciates about the people and culture of Russia. (check out the video)
- No tanking this time -- Russia and France are playing for a shot at gold
- London 2012: Russia -- As usual, an enigma