Lindsey Harding, the WNBA’s former No. 1 overall pick back in 2007, has a new gig. The Philadelphia 76ers have hired the former Duke and WNBA star as a full-time scout, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. After spending nine years in the WNBA, Harding officially retired in 2017. She spent time with six teams during her career, averaging 12.3 points, 5.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Harding, however, is now just the second former WNBA player to land this job. But she thinks that if you can do the job, it shouldn’t matter. As we know, it’s not always that simple even if it should be. It’s more difficult for women to land these jobs.
“I think when you have this goal in mind, your gender shouldn’t even matter,” she says. “It should be about if you can do it, if you’re good, you’re experienced, if you know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about.”
All fair and true points. But the qualified woman is often overlooked. Going forward, Harding wants a role that will allow her to develop while also still connecting with the coaching aspect. She wants to work with the team, so here we are.
“I knew I wanted to work with the team. That’s the one thing that you miss most from playing — being part of a team, competing, and trying to win a championship,” she adds.
In the meantime, the 76ers are coming off a pretty successful season. 52 wins later, they found themselves in the Eastern Conference semi-final against the Boston Celtics. And while the 76ers didn’t get past Boston, the future is bright. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are healthy. Markelle Fultz can shoot again; his shoulder is okay. There’s plenty to like. Now Harding gets to be part of the journey. Or, The Process.
She’s not ready to stop here, though.
“I would love to be in the front office and really understand how to put a team together,” Harding says. “I still love being on the floor and having the opportunity to coach. But I really just wanted to get my foot in the door.”
This is certainly a good start.