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Sixers hire former WNBA first overall pick as scout

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to break down walls and barriers in the NBA as they did something that is somewhat unprecedented around the league. On Friday, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that the Sixers have hired former Duke Blue Devil and WNBA first overall draft pick Lindsey Harding as a full-time scout.

This hiring comes after Philly.com's Keith Pompey reported just a little over a week ago that the Sixers had begun to shake up their scouting department by hiring globally well-known JR Holden as the new international scout and they were also in talks with a female candidate for a scouting position, which turned out to be Harding.

In 2007, Harding was the top selection in the WNBA draft and she's now the second player in WNBA history to accept a full-time NBA scouting job, following in the footsteps of current Dallas Mavericks assistant Jenny Boucek.

She joins Boucek, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, and Clippers assistant Natalie Nakase as the only former women's basketball players working in the NBA.

Contrary to popular belief, gender didn't play a factor in deciding the job, as Harding told Shelburne in an interview.

“I think when you have this goal in mind, your gender shouldn’t even matter,” Harding told ESPN. “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.”

While scouting is an animal in itself, the ultimate goal for Harding may be to get a chance to get a front office gig in the NBA in the foreseeable future.

“I would love to be in the front office and really understand how to put a team together,” Harding said. “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.”

Playing for six teams over nine seasons, the former WNBA star 10.5 points and 3.9 assists in six of her first seven seasons.

 

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