WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon shoots for her dream even if it means doing so for another country.



Becky Hammon

AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel


In the August 4, 2008 edition of Sports Illustrated magazine, I read an article about Becky Hammon a WNBA All-Star who has decided to play for the Russian national team in the Beijing Olympics. The focus of the article is about how an American can forsake her own country and play for another. Many claim that this is unpatriotic, but Hammon explains that she wasn’t really given a chance to play for the Americans and simply wants to live out a dream of participating in the Olympics—even if the country she represents was once an enemy of her own.


Here is the intro of the article:

Snubbed by team USA, WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon is putting her all-American reputation at risk for a shot at a medal in Beijing—playing for Russia, a country she once dreaded.

What really caught my eye was the final paragraph of the article. Hammon makes an interesting statement about unity:

Becky HammonAP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel

The uproar that would be created if Hammon helps defeat Team USA would no doubt make the pre-Olympic controversy pale in comparison. But Hammon is undaunted. “I’m proud to be an American,” she says, “but I’m also proud that Russia would embrace and accept me. Medal or no, they’ve given me the opportunity to remind people what the original Olympic spirit is all about—unity.”

I find this “controversy” intriguing. On one hand, I understand Hammon’s desire to compete in the Olympics; on the other, I wonder if this really does represent “the original Olympic spirit”. And what about the idea of unity? Do her actions create unity or disunity?

So… what do you think? Is she right or is she wrong? But more importantly, why do you answer that question the way you do?

Authored by: Rolfe Carawan


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