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Throughout the NBA’s history men have dominated the courts, our televisions and even coaching positions. The NBA rarely places women alongside the court as a coach or assistant coach. Finishing out her summer gig as an assistant coach, Natalie Nakase intends for all of that to change.
Yahoo Sports reports that Nakase has been spending her summer assisting the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Brendan O’Connor, while Doc Rivers took this summer off. Nakase was originally a video intern this summer and earned her way to a seat on the bench during the NBA Summer League. Doc Rivers told The New York Times, “She’s in our film room all year, she’s terrific.”
Natalie returned to her home of California after spending time in Japan head coaching the Saitama Broncos, a professional men’s basketball team. She graduated from UCLA as a 5-foot-2, three-year starter with extensive knowledge of the game. Nancy Lieberman, the first woman to coach a professional men’s team, was present in the stands while Natalie helped out on the bench.
Lieberman said she is proud of Natalie stating, “There’s going to be a woman at some point in the NBA.”