New York Liberty honor Becky Hammon

NEW YORK (AP) Becky Hammon got her WNBA start in New York and never has forgotten where she came from.

The New York Liberty honored their former star Sunday, putting the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach in their ring of honor at halftime of their game against the Seattle Storm.

''I want you guys to know that I'm from South Dakota, my mom would slap me silly if I forgot my roots. You guys are part of my roots,'' Hammon said. ''I always had so much pride putting that New York Liberty jersey on and representing this amazing city, the greatest city in the world.''

Hammon helped the Liberty reach the WNBA Finals three times, including getting New York within a game of the championship in 1999. She played for New York from 1999-2006 and ranks second in franchise history for games played and 3-pointers made, and is third on New York's career scoring list.

Hammon was presented with flowers, a commemorative ring and a performance art painting created during the ceremony.

''It all starts here, my journey as a basketball player and how the fans have always embraced me even when I was the last person on the bench,'' Hammon said. ''Nothing came easy to me, I had to fight and scrap for every little bit of playing time that I got and I would not do it any other way.''

The 5-foot-6 guard went on to play eight more seasons in San Antonio before retiring at the end of last year. She then joined the Spurs' staff as the first full-time paid female assistant coach in the NBA.

She coached the Spurs to a summer league title in Las Vegas last month.

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