NBA Commisione Adam Silver has said that “there definitely will” be more women involved in the league near the prominent future, per ESPN.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

Speaking at an interview on Tuesday promoting NBA and Leanin.org’s launch of a gender equality awareness campaign, Silver stated that he wants more female officials as early as next season, and that he expects a female head coach to surface “sooner rather than later.”

Currently, Lauren Holtkamp is the only woman officiating in the NBA, but Silver wishes to see this number increase by next season, and the new initiatives that the league have recently set in place to expand the officiating roster by 25% signal a step in the right direction for gender equality.

The following is from Youngmisuk’s report:

“It would be my goal as we look to increase that pool of officials that we recruit equally from pools of potential women as we do from men. … We will be looking very hard at dramatically increasing the representation of women in our officiating ranks,” Silver said.

In terms of management, Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman are both assistant coaches in the NBA, plying their trade with the San Antonio Spurs and the Sacramento Kings. Natalie Nakase is the Los Angeles Clippers‘ assistant video coordinator, but also has aspirations of becoming an NBA head coach, too.

Hammon turned down the chance to become the head coach in Florida recently, but rejected the offer to remain with the Spurs and continue focusing on becoming the first female head coach in the NBA.

Silver continued via ESPN’s report:

“It is hard to say exactly when [it will happen]. There are three women currently in the pipeline, and I think like we have seen in all other aspects of life, while there are certain cases for example, the athletes that participate in the NBA, there are obvious physical differences between men and women and those differences are why we have a men’s league and a women’s league.

“But on the other hand when it comes to coaching, when there is absolutely no physical requirement, when it is not a function of how high you can jump or how strong you are, there is no physical litmus test to being a head coach in the league, there is absolutely no reason why a woman will not ascend to be a head coach in this league. We are very focused in on it.”

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