According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Sixers have hired Lindsey Harding as a full time scout for the 2018-2019 season. Harding was named the Naismith College Player of the Year following a stellar 2007 season at Duke. The spring following her 2007 season, Harding was selected #1 overall in the WNBA Draft. The 34-year-old retired from the WNBA in 2017 after nine seasons.
Harding spoke with ESPN:
“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.”
”I would love to be in the front office and really understand how to put a team together,” she 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.”
The Sixers haven’t distributed anything in the way of a press release to confirm this hiring, but I assume an announcement will come in the near future.
Love this hire. I’m no CEO or Recruiting Director, but it is my belief that it is always to the benefit of a firm or company or team to diversify their perspectives. Harding does just that, as she brings a lifetime of basketball knowledge and experience outside of the NBA to the Sixers. She also does have some NBA experience, spending last year in the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associates Program.
ESPN also spoke to Sixers Coach Brett Brown about the hire:
Sixers head coach and interim general manager Brett 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.”
Not the personnel move Sixers fans have been waiting for — the Sixers GM position is still vacant — but building the scouting department is never a bad thing. Well, unless you hire a bad scout of course. Only time will tell if Harding has the expertise to be a proficient NBA scout, but with aspirations to move up the ladder of NBA front offices, I’m excited to see her post-playing career kick off with Sixers.