She was promoted from pro scout to player development coach, becoming the NBA’s seventh female assistant coach.
Last year, she began working with the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associate Program with a bigger goal in mind. “I wanted to get my foot in the door,” she said. According to Harding, the bigger picture included, “On-court coaching opportunities. Other front-office opportunities. Other scouting opportunities.”
San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach Becky Hammon, who became the first full-time female NBA assistant in 2014, urged her to pursue a career with the league. “I played against Becky for years,” Harding told ESPN. “During this last season, especially working in the front office [program] and going to games, I spent some time talking to her. She was always telling me, ‘You need to come. You need to come. We need more women here.'”
Her new role comes as no surprise. She was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA draft, where she played for nine seasons. Along with playing in basketball leagues overseas, Harding served as an assistant coach in the 2015 summer league for the Toronto Raptors.
Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown was proud of Harding’s addition. He told ESPN, “Lindsey has quickly become one of the game’s bright young minds in basketball operations.”
Crediting Harding’s participation in the league’s operations program and her experience as a professional player, Brown said, “Lindsey is applying the same grit and basketball IQ she used as a player in her move to the front office. We look forward to the work Lindsey will do to help grow our program and further solidify a culture of winning.”