Boucek: 'I want to become the best coach I can become'


Jenny Boucek is her usual optimistic self about her new role with the Sacramento Kings, but also pragmatic.
She officially was announced as part of head coach Dave Joerger's staff on Friday before the Kings took on the Mavericks in Dallas. Boucek was let go by the WNBA's Seattle Storm on Aug. 10 during her third season as head coach. She had a combined record of 36-58 in Seattle, and took the brunt of the blame for the team's struggles this past season.
But she's not dwelling on anything negative from that experience. Now, Boucek joins fellow former WNBA player Becky Hammon as an NBA assistant coach. Hammon is further along in the pipeline, having joined the San Antonio Spurs' staff before the 2014 season, right as she was retiring from her playing career.
Hammon is in her fourth season in the NBA, and even was acting head coach for one half of a preseason game on Oct. 8. Empowering his assistants with opportunities like that is one of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich's training methods, and he has been a big supporter and mentor for Hammon. Many think she might become the first female head coach in NBA history.
Boucek isn't looking to that kind of elevation for herself now. She's familiar with the personnel -- players and staff -- of the NBA, and has many times visited with NBA teams to watch practices, attend meetings and take notes, dating back to the start of her coaching career as a WNBA assistant in 1999 with the Mystics.