Texas has always done it bigger, and now thanks to the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs, they’re doing it better. This offseason, the two clubs have made two massive adjustments to their coaching staffs as they aim to change generational stereotypes. Becky Hammon, the first female NBA coach, is well know for her importance to the future of women in sports; however, in July the Mavericks announced their hiring of lesser known Jenny Boucek.
Jenny is the third full time female assistant coach to be hired in the NBA after she played two seasons professionally in Iceland and domestically as a member of the WNBA. She made the roster for the Cleveland Rockets after their open tryout in 1997, (the WNBA’s inaugural season.) In November of that year, the Nashville native signed with Keflavik in Iceland. Winning the Icelandic championship, the Icelandic Basketball Cup, and earning the Foreign Player of the Year Award, Boucek finished the season and returned state side just in time to make it back for the start of the Rockets season opener. Unfortunately, Ms. Boucek suffered a career-ending back injury and retired a year later in 1998, a travesty that opened the door to her next chapter: coaching.
This journey took the Virginia grad to four different states. She has bounced around as an assistant to the Washington Mystics, Miami Sol, Seattle Storm and Sacramento Monarchs.
The eight-season journey has seen her win a national championship and become the head coach of the Seattle Storm in 2015. Two years later, Jenny found herself traveling to Sacramento again as the new assistant coach to the Kings.
Fulfilling this dream hasn’t come without its obstacles, especially in an all-male league.
During her hiring in October, Jenny learned that she was pregnant. A blessing to many, but for a female in sports, a commitment that is just as severe as a torn ACL. She endured however, and during that time Jenny coached throughout the entire regular season caring her baby bump.
As her due date approached, Jenny needed to find a team close to home—a team that would still pay her full time and provide the perfect location to raise her family. Cue lights as in comes Dallas: a team that is well known, owns a huge payroll and has the willingness to work with Jenny as she continues her super-mom journey.
This willingness that is aimed to help elevate the play of last year’s 24-58 team. With the promise that this young Dallas team has, you never know. They might even make the playoffs, because, after all, mothers know best.