Former Sacramento Kings assistant coach makes history in new role

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

After spending four seasons playing at Duke and nine seasons in the WNBA as a number one draft pick, Lindsey Harding already accumulated more basketball success than any of us will ever experience. For her, it was not enough, however. 

Just shortly after retiring from the WNBA in 2016 once her Phoenix Mercury were eliminated from the playoffs, Harding took up coaching and found success in that area of the game as well. 

Finding her way to the NBA, Harding first started out as a developmental coach and pro personnel scout with the Philadelphia 76ers. Then, she landed in Sacramento as a player developmental coach for the Kings while garnering international success as well. In 2021, Harding was named the head coach of the South Sudan women’s national team and now leads Mexico’s national team. 

Sacramento’s coaching staff just seems to be stacked with talent. Last season, Mike Brown won the first-ever unanimous NBA Coach of the Year award after dragging the Kings out of their sixteen-season deep hole of missing the playoffs. Associate head coach Jordi Fernandez just led Team Canada through a successful FIBA World Cup campaign and might be up for a head coaching job in the NBA soon. 

Lindsey Harding just added to that, making history in her new role in Stockton. 

Lindsey Harding is the first woman to win G League Coach of the Year

After four seasons as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings, it was time for Harding to take the next step in her coaching career. Stockton Kings’ head coach Bobby Jackson decided to leave the team for an assistant job with the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA. 

Harding got the job, entering the 2023-24 season as the only female head coach in both the G League and the NBA. The former point guard was up to the challenge and continued to put her name into the history books. 

In just her first season as a head coach, she led her team to a league-best 24-10 record, setting them up for a deep playoff run, and won G League Coach of the Year. She is the first woman ever to win the award. Indiana Mad Ants’ coach Tom Hankins and Sioux Falls Skyforce’s coach Kasib Powell finished second and third respectively in the voting process. 

The Stockton Kings still have the playoffs to get through, but this season is already a success for Harding, as she continues to prove that female coaches can very well excel in a male-dominated field.