By Justin Sink
Basketball-fan-in-chief Barack Obama personally took to Twitter on Wednesday to congratulate the San Antonio Spurs on becoming the first team in the NBA to hire a full-time female coach.
The 2014 championship team announced on Tuesday they had hired former Colorado State standout Becky Hammon as an assistant to head coach Gregg Popovich.
The president’s tweet came shortly after he asked African heads of state gathered in Washington to work to promote outcomes for women in their countries.
“ I think there’s an increasing recognition that if countries are going to reach their full economic potential, then they have to invest in women — their education, their skills, and protect them from gender-based violence,” Obama told reporters after the talks. “And that was a topic of conversation this afternoon. And this week the United States announced a range of initiatives to help empower women across Africa.”
Obama has previously signaled his admiration for the Spurs and for Popovich, a five-time NBA champion.
“I love Pop, he is not just a great coach, he is a great guy and I’ve gotten to know him and really love the guy,” Obama said during a speech on energy conservation in June.
Hammon thanked Obama for his wishes on Twitter late Wednesday, saying she didn't think her hiring "could get any cooler."
--This report was updated on Aug. 7 at 10:35 a.m.