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Becky Hammon, Chiney Ogwumike

 San Antonio Stars’ Becky Hammon, right, drives to the basket as Connecticut’s Chiney Ogwumike, left, defends in Uncasville, Conn., on July 1.

I'm a big fan of Mechelle Voepel (she's one of the most underrated sports writers around) and this article about Becky Hammon hits the nail on the head, as Voepel often does.

I remember the first time I saw Hammon, it must have been right around 1990 at a Joe Ward basketball camp, and she was brought out to do some ballhandling drills. I'm not entirely sure on any of the details there, but that's what I remember. I've followed her throughout her college and pro career and she's never failed to impress, through both her play and the way she carries herself. I've even played some pickup games with her over the years and she's no less gracious and down to earth in that setting than any other. She is truly just a good person.

I know she took a lot of heat (much of it in her hometown) for her decision to play for the Russian national team and I get that. I do. But the fact remains that Hammon has carried herself with dignity and class throughout her career and been an excellent ambassador for her hometown and state throughout.

I just want to say congratulations on a truly phenomenal career and best of luck in what I'm sure will be a successful transition into coaching. Say what you will about Hammon, but she has truly earned everything she's ever gotten from the game of basketball and she did it on her terms.

I've got all the respect in the world for her.

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