The reigning-champion Spurs have hired WNBA veteran Becky Hammon, making her the first paid female assistant coach in the NBA, the team announced yesterday.

Hammon, currently playing with the San Antonio Stars in her 16th WNBA season, is set to retire after the conclusion of the season to start a new chapter and perhaps pave the way for other qualified women in the basketball world. Lisa Boyer was the first female assistant in the league, volunteering with the 2001-2002 Cavaliers.

"I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich in a statement. "Having observed her working with our team this past season, I'm confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs."

After finding out Hammon wanted to coach following her playing career, Popovich invited her to practices last season.

Hammon, who was named one of the WNBA's Top 15 Players of All Time in 2011, ranks seventh in league history in points, fourth in assists and sixth in games. The six-time All-Star, three of which came during her eight-year stint with the Liberty, has averaged 13.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in her career, garnering All-WNBA First Team honors twice (2007, '09).