Pelicans’ Teresa Weatherspoon trailblazing a path for women in NBA the coaching profession

NBA

NEW ORLEANS — After a National Championship at Louisiana Tech and 8 years of professional ball overseas, Teresa Weatherspoon recalls a phone call from the New York Liberty in 1997, inviting her to take part in the WNBA’s inaugural season. 

“I was in France and I got the call and I was like oh wow I’m going to New York City. Ah man this is going to be awesome, playing in Madison Square Garden, just an amazing place to play. Nothing but great things to say about the opportunity to play in the WNBA, being able to play back at home in front of your family and friends and build your own career professionally in America,” says Pelicans Assistant Coach Teresa Weatherspoon.  

Weatherspoon would go on to be a 5-time WNBA all-star and 2-time defensive player of the year.

She retired from the WNBA as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks in 2004.

A new chapter in her basketball journey would begin.

“I enjoyed the game so much that I knew that after I was done I still wanted to be a part of it,” says Weatherspoon.

Her first taste of coaching came in 2007 as head coach of the Westcheter Phantoms in the American Basketball Association.

One year later, she joined the women’s basketball staff at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech.

She was named head basketball coach in the 2009 season.

“It was overwhelming, because to me it was like you left something that was good enough for them to call you back,” says Weatherspoon.

Under Weatherspoon, the Lady Techsters won a pair of regular season conference titles (2009 & 2011) and a conference tournament title in 2010.

Im 2019, she joined the Pelicans organization as a Two-Way Player Development Coach, working with the Pelicans and the Erie Bayhawks.

She was promoted to a full-time assistant at the beginning of the 2020 regular season.

One of only 8 full-time female assistants in the NBA.

An accomplishment she credits to the process.

It’s what has ultimately gotten her to his position and one that will continue to carry her throughout her coaching career.

“I never talk about the end results, I always talk about the in-between. Of course we all want to win, of course we all want championships, that’s the bottom line. But, you’re not going to get there if you’re not about the process. The process is the most important thing. It’s the process that can be the most difficult thing because it’s a lot of hard work in between but anything that’s worth having is difficult,” says Weatherspoon.

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