Mavericks' Sarah Gayler Featured on KTBS

Wonder women; Mavericks' Sarah Gayler talks about coaching men's basketball

SHREVEPORT, La - The San Antonio Spurs made history by making former WNBA player Becky Hammon the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA. Hammon is hardly the only woman coaching in the men's game, however, as the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks were nearly a year ahead of the Spurs when they hired Sarah Gayler as an assistant coach last season. Gayler was thrilled to hear about the Spurs historic move, "A lot of women out there can coach basketball. When I was growing up playing basketball, she was one of my favorite players with the New York Liberty. I'm just very excited that she got the opportunity, has the opportunity. It allows people like myself, allows women and girls growing up to have something to look up to."

Shreveport-Bossier actually wasn't Gayler's first ABA team. In fact, the began last season as the head coach of the Dallas Diesel. After making a trip to Shreveport to play the Mavericks, head coach Steve Tucker decided he had to have Gayler on his coaching staff. Gayler was eager to join a team that considers themselves the ABA's equivalent to the Spurs, "As a kid I always learned that in order to be the best, you have to be around the best, and to watch the best. When I played, I figured it was men's basketball. When I got the opportunity to come here and coach for someone with such high stature and for this great organization, it's kind of a big deal."

Gayler believes women coaching men is a trend that will continue to grow across the sport, "I feel that the women have something to offer that hasn't been tapped into yet. If you can learn to play fundamentally and do the little things, a lot of people say that's the girls side of basketball. You can add the men's strength and the men's quickness, combining some of our teachings with the men's teachings and I think that will make an ultimate team or an ultimate player."

As for her future in basketball, Gayler says she's just focused on the short term, which includes winning another championship with the Mavericks.

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