Becky Hammon and the art of what’s possibleon November 12, 2020 at 8:27 pm

Becky Hammon is an inspiration for women and girls all over the world.

As an undersized, undrafted point guard, she put together one of the most decorated careers in WNBA history. And then in 2014, the San Antonio Spurs made history hiring her to become a full-time assistant coach. Hammon, now 43, is the second woman to coach in the NBA.

Now, her image looks down at passersby in San Antonio’s Lincoln Hills neighborhood thanks to Sebastien “Mr. D1987” Boileau, who was commissioned to paint a larger-than-life mural of Hammon.

The mural itself — which took four days to complete in varying weather conditions — is featured in a new, nonfiction minute-long film from 60 Second Docs, slated for release Thursday.

The motivation? The French-American artist said he knows how hard it is to not just get to the top — but to stay there.

“It’s not just talent, it takes heart to get there. There’s a commitment to pushing through and staying [the] course that’s inspiring and I hope reflected in my piece,” Boileau told ESPN.

The mural is colorful, attention-grabbing and full of detail. Her face is judicious and splashed in front of bright yellow and becomes one with the skyline of San Antonio. Above her, “NEVER STOP” is emblazoned in blue. But perhaps the best part is a young girl looking up at Hammon — and how she is wearing Hammon’s now-retired San Antonio Stars jersey.

“It’s really moving to see my image and my story captured so beautifully in Sebastien’s mural. And ‘Never Stop’ is both the perfect motto for my drive to take on new challenges and a great metaphor for the adolescent version of myself so poetically portrayed in the piece,” Hammon told ESPN in a statement.

“And so, when I heard that the mural is receiving great feedback not only from the sports world, but also drawing in visits from young women in San Antonio, I was doubly moved. The idea that my career journey can inspire others, regardless of gender, to commit to their own dreams, is extremely powerful.”

Boileau and Hammon met at the unveiling, and the two “meshed right away.”

“We have been communicating since. She was thrilled by the mural and she is sincerely an amazing person. You feel her strength and determination — yet, she is the kindest,” Boileau told ESPN.

Photos of the mural have made their way around social media — and the reception is resoundingly positive.

As for Boileau, he has been an artist since the 1980s when he was just a teenager. He immigrated to the United States in 1998, and in 2000 launched what is now a successful street art-inspired mural company in Houston, Texas — Eyeful Art Murals and Designs. He primarily uses spray paint street art techniques such as tagging and drip painting.

His next endeavor? He may not have other women in sports lined up to paint right now, but still — look out for the ladies.

“I have been painting more women in recent years than men […] I hope to empower and honor even more exceptional women,” Boileau said.

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