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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Before Women’s History Month comes to a close, FOX40’s Lindsey Pallares is spotlighting a trailblazer within the Sacramento Kings organization: assistant coach Lindsey Harding.

In the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, seven women are currently working as assistant coaches and Harding is one of them.

“When I come in here every day, I’m treated like everyone else, and I don’t think about it, but when you do sit down and think about, OK, there’s four coaches on the front of the bench, there’s four, maybe five, behind, that’s easily close to 250, and only seven are women. That’s something,” Harding told FOX40.

The rise of female coaches in the NBA has picked up significantly over the last five years with 12 of the 15 women who have served as assistant coaches in the league being hired after 2017.

“I’ve seen the push. It’s coming and we want it to be normal. We want it to be where some of these, not just here, it will go to college, it will go to high school. This is the first time some of these players ever had a woman coach them and some of these coaches coach with a woman,” Harding said.

FOX40 asked: What is it like working with male professional athletes who may never of had a woman coach in their playing careers?

“It’s no different. They know my career. They respect what I’ve done. I speak to them as a former player. I coach coming from a player’s perspective, so the respect is there and they come to me in that way,” Harding answered.

Harding’s also well-respected by her colleagues on the Kings’ coaching staff and the front office.

“She’s got a really good knowledge of the game. She’s very high basketball IQ,”” said Kings head coach Alvin Gentry. “Her delivery and ability to talk with players and deliver the messages is really, really good. You know, she’s a great coach. I happen to be one that I will never call her a great female coach because I think that’s disrespectful really. She’s a very good basketball coach.”

Her playing career spans nearly two decades and several countries. She played at Duke, in the WNBA, overseas in Europe, and as part of the Belarus women’s national team.

Longtime NBA agent Warren Legary helped Harding get her first NBA coaching gig while she was still playing professionally.

“One day, out the blue, he contacted me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to be an assistant coach for summer league with the Toronto Raptors?’ and I said, ‘OK.’ I didn’t know what I was doing, I showed up in Vegas and it was such an amazing experience,” Harding recalled.

In 2018, Harding signed on with the 76ers and became the first Black woman to become a full-time NBA scout, and then went on to become the first female assistant coach in the organization’s history.

Within the Kings organization, she’s the third woman to be an assistant coach.

“It’s been great. People, they listen, they support. ‘What is it that you need? Where do you want to go?’” Harding said.  

Harding said she aspires to be a head coach in the NBA one day.

“It’s hard when you’ve never seen it, right? Everyone, all these men can look and see someone that looks like them that is a coach now or has been a coach. So, you’re trying to find your path that is not there, right? You’re trying to create your own path and you hope you just continue growing, learning and get an opportunity,” Harding said.

Harding’s advice to the next generation of female coaches is simple.

“Staying grounded and solid with who you are and knowing who you are is important so when you walk in a place when you’re the only one, and you know who you are, you will then kind of radiate that energy versus, ‘I’m just going to try and fit in because I’m not sure who I am,’” Harding advised.