Former Philadelphia 76ers pro scout, Lindsey Harding, has just been promoted to player development coach for the team. This makes Harding the first female coach in the franchise’s history and the seventh female assistant coach to ever be hired in the NBA.
Prior to joining the 76ers, Harding served as one of the assistant coaches for the Toronto Raptors summer league in 2015. After that she spent a year in the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associate Program where she got a taste of what it’s like to work in various NBA jobs. After finishing the program, Philly.com says that Harding was approached by six different teams, but ultimately chose the 76ers because they gave her more opportunities for growth.
“I wanted to get my foot in the door,” she said. “On-court coaching opportunities. Other front-office opportunities. Other scouting opportunities.”
She said that no other team offered her that many choices and added “the feeling [with the 76ers], the vibe, the support, the growth” showed her that they believed in her.
Harding, who was the No. 1 overall pick out of Duke University in the 2007 WNBA draft, played nine seasons in the WNBA and also played for seven European teams. With her expertise of the game, Sixers general manager Elton Brand says “you feel like she’ll excel in your organization wherever you put her.”
He emphasizes that after his interview with Harding, “everyone I spoke to about her said how driven she was and that her knowledge of the game was impeccable.” Brand adds that with her work ethic, he knows that she will be head coaching her own team very soon.
“Whether that’s the NBA, or a collegiate program – I don’t think she’ll be at the player-development level for very long,” he says.
With a bright future ahead, 34-year-old Harding says she knows the 76ers “is the right opportunity and organization for the next step in my overall growth.”