You might know her as the former Duke standout who played nine WNBA seasons with six different teams. She also had playing stints in Russia, Turkey, and Lithuania, plus a run with the Belarus national team.
Harding was the number one overall pick in the 2007 draft and now becomes the second WNBA player to receive a full-time scouting gig with an NBA team, the first of which went to Dallas Mavericks assistant Jenny Boucek, who scouted for the Seattle SuperSonics in 2006.
According to ESPN, Harding retired in 2017 and spent last season in the NBA’s “Basketball Operations Associates Program.” –
After completing the program, she interviewed with several NBA teams, looking for a role that would allow her to learn and grow as both a future front-office executive and maintain a connection to coaching.
“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 said. “That’s always been the goal probably since I picked up the ball when I was 13.”
The Sixers currently have eight scouts on the payroll. Marin Sedlacek is the team’s “international scout,” while Alvin Williams and Jordan Cohn are listed as “pro personnel” scouts. We’ll see what Harding’s focus ends up being in the scouting department.
Brett Brown is also quoted in the article:
“…Brown said he was blown away by Harding’s basketball IQ when he met her.
“Lindsey has quickly become one of the game’s bright young minds in basketball operations,” Brown said. “Having graduated from the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associates Program last season, Lindsey is applying the same grit and basketball IQ she used as a player in her move to the front office. We look forward to the work Lindsey will do to help grow our program and further solidify a culture of winning.
“It’s no secret how much I value the culture we’ve built in Philadelphia and how much a family-like atmosphere means to our program. Lindsey is a leader, and she is a welcomed addition to the 76ers family. I look forward to working with her.”
There are only a handful of women working within the Sixers’ “basketball operations” department. Ivana Seric is a data scientist. Dr. Jeanie Subach has been the team’s nutritionist for many years (and also worked with the Eagles and Flyers). Shea Dawson is the manager of team programs and player services.
I think this is probably my favorite quote from the story, from Harding:
“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.”
My only concern is that they’re making tweaks to the basketball operations department without a full-time general manager in place.