Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The 5' 2" Japanese Women Who Wants to be the NBA's First Female Head Coach

At first I thought that this would be a politically correct article that only a libwap would love, but there are lessons here about how to go after a difficult to get job and about how to break into a difficult jobs sector-RW

Aiming at Glass Ceiling, but Not With Her Jump Shot

By Billy Witz

Professional athletes will frequently do almost anything if they believe it will help them improve. That explained why Billy Knight, an overseas basketball player, was home one summer honing his jumper in a Manhattan Beach, Calif., gym with Natalie Nakase.

When another player — an acquaintance of Knight’s — walked in, he was incredulous. “What are you going to learn from her?” the player asked.

Knight said Nakase was a better shooter. He said she could prove it unless the other player was scared. That was enough to set the mark.

It went like this several times when Nakase and Knight, college acquaintances, worked out together: a wisecrack followed by a shooting contest. Nakase rarely talked, but sharks were not supposed to look like her: 5-foot-2, ponytailed and disarming — at least until she unleashed her jump shot.

As they moved around the 3-point line, keeping track of shots made, the player who did this for a living swallowed harder. When the contest ended, he handed over $20, and a bit of his pride.

“At first, Billy was mad because I didn’t want to take the money,” said Nakase, who said even the loser insisted on it. But she came to like it enough that she started to hustle on her own, winning more than she lost. Now she even makes some money off her co-workers, the Los Angeles Clippers — though she won’t embarrass any players by naming names.

“I don’t want anyone mad at me,” she said.

Nakase, the Clippers’ assistant video coordinator, is trying to earn credibility in the coaching profession the same way: by proving her worth. She landed a spot as an assistant coach on the Clippers’ bench during the two-week N.B.A. Summer League here, a first according to the Clippers and a step toward her goal of becoming an N.B.A. coach — something no woman has ever accomplished.

Read the rest here.

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