WNBA Legend Teresa Weatherspoon Named Full-Time Pelicans Assistant Coach

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans player development coach Teresa Weatherspoon before a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in New Orleans, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans promoted WNBA legend Teresa Weatherspoon to the role of full-time assistant coach ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season.

Weatherspoon was a two-way player development coach for the team last season. ESPN's Andrew Lopez noted she's the NBA's eighth full-time female assistant in the NBA.

Weatherspoon starred at the college level with Louisiana Tech. She helped the Lady Techsters win their third national title in 1988 to go along with her Wade Trophy victory.

The 54-year-old spent time professionally overseas before joining the WNBA in its 1997 inaugural season. She was already 31 at the time, so fans were unable to see her in her prime. Still, the Pineland, Texas, native was a five-time All-Star and received the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1997 and 1998.

Weatherspoon retired after the 2004 season and broke into coaching a few years later. Following a brief spell with the ABA's Westchester Phantoms in 2007-08, she returned to Louisiana Tech as an assistant. She was named interim coach in February 2009 and took over on a permanent basis that April.

The school fired Weatherspoon in March 2014. She landed on her feet with the New York Liberty, working as the director of player and franchise development.

Weatherspoon will be working under Stan Van Gundy, whom New Orleans hired in October to succeed Alvin Gentry.

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She's not the only women's basketball legend within the franchise's ranks. The team hired Swin Cash as vice president of basketball operations and team development in June 2019.