Lindsey Harding Takes The Reigns
n June 2023, the Stockton Kings of the NBA G League made a groundbreaking move to hire Lindsey Harding as the new team head coach. Harding became the first African American woman to be the head coach of an NBA or NBA G League team, and only the second woman ever to be a head professional basketball coach in the United States. With this new move, Harding isn't too concerned about changing the landscape of women's coaching in the NBA.
“I don't think about the 'trailblazer' label at all," Harding told Yahoo Sports. "I’m just doing what I love."
Harding's resume surely speaks for itself. After playing four seasons at Duke University and winning ACC Player of the Year in 2007, Harding was drafted first overall by the Minnesota Lynx where she began her nine-year playing career with stints in Washington, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. When her time as a pro player came to an end, Harding joined the Philadelphia 76ers staff as a player development coach for the 2018-19 season. Harding then became an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings followed by the South Sudan Women's National Team coach in 2021. Even with an extensive resume like hers, Harding has formed a more humble opinion this far in the game of basketball.
"You see men who played at the highest level become a coach, you see men who have never played or came from the video room become head coaches," Harding said. "There is no path."
Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown does not doubt Harding's ability to coach and backs her skills and knowledge of the sport at the helm.
"Lindsey’s skill set is second to none," Brown said. "Her ability to communicate with the players is off the charts. She's not afraid. She works hard. She knows what she's talking about.”
The Stockton Kings are going all in on women at the helm; former assistant GM of the team Anjali Ranadivé was hired as the team’s general manager the same day as Lindsey Harding was announced as head coach. Ranadivé, at only 30 years old, is a former musical artist who has a song with popular rapper Tyga. Last season, Ranadivé was the assistant GM for the Kings and will now set into her new role as GM of the Stockton Kings.
This new Harding-Ranadivé duo makes both of these women trailblazers in the basketball world, pushing the boundaries of the game. The Stockton Kings are building something special in the NBA G-League, and they are putting women in charge of the future and breaking barriers in the NBA and beyond.
Photo credit: Lindsey Harding's Instagram