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Basketball is Basketball: Iowa Energy Hire Female Assistant Nikki Gross

The Iowa Energy, the Memphis Grizzlies' D-League affiliate, have hired the only current female assistant coach in the NBA D-League, according to the Des Moines Register.

Nikki Gross, 26, (graduate of Seton Hall) joined the Iowa Energy last season as a video coordinator. Today, an official announcement came from the Energy and it's NBA affiliate, the Memphis Grizzlies. Gross enters her second season with the Iowa Energy. Pending league approval, Gross will begin her assistant coaching duties this upcoming season and will primarily be dealing with scouting.

One thing we do know about Gross is that she is focused and ready to grind. "To be honest, I'm just focused on helping our team," Gross told the Des Moines Register. "It's something I worked for and I'm really excited about the opportunity."

When it comes to gender roles and coaching, Gross lets that conversation go by the wayside. "I don't really see myself as any different," said Gross. "It's the same job, the same sport."

As of right now Gross' mind is centered on short term goals. "I'm pretty focused on the short term and doing this job the best that I can," she said. "I'm extremely thankful and grateful to the Grizzlies and Energy for this whole opportunity."

Gross is accompanied by two other women have recently made significant strides in male-dominant sports. Becky Hammon became the NBA’s first female assistant coach last season with the San Antonio Spurs. She also coached the organization’s summer league team to a championship earlier this month in Las Vegas.

Jen Welter was also added to the Arizona Cardinals’ coaching staff this week as an intern. She will coach the team’s inside linebackers throughout training camp and the preseason. She is believed to be first female to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL.