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Meet Pacers assistant Jenny Boucek, one of the NBA's few women coaches


The Pacers won their first playoff series in 10 years with one of the NBA’s few women assistant coaches providing guidance from the bench.

Indiana took care of the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks in six games. Jalen Brunson and the Knicks await the Pacers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

New York wants to slow the pace and play a physical game. Indiana wants to push the tempo off every make and miss.

The contrast in play styles should create a chess match between Rick Carlisle and Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staffs. When you’re watching Carlisle’s staff, you might noticeassistant coach Jenny Boucek on the Pacers’ bench.

Get to know the former Virginia star and WNBA player-turned-coach, including how she has worked her way up the NBA coaching totem pole.

MORE: Pacers vs. Knicks preview: Can Indiana handle New York’s physicality?

Boucek, 50, has been an NBA assistant coach for seven seasons.

She started her career as an All-ACC caliber player at the University of Virginia from 1992-96. Boucek averaged 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals over her career, reaching three Elite Eights with the Cavaliers.

As a double major in sports medicine and sports management, Boucek never had plans to play professional basketball. She came from a family of doctors and nurses and planned to pursue the same career, according to a feature by Legends Magazine’s AJ McCord.

But when the WNBA was established in 1997, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

“The WNBA had a tremendous purpose. That gripped my heart,” she told Legends Magazine.

Boucek ended up playing for the Cleveland Rockers in the WNBA’s 1997 inaugural season, but she suffered a career-ending back fracture.

Two years later, she returned to the WNBA as an assistant coach and never looked back.

MORE: The best candidates to replace Darvin Ham as Lakers coach

Boucek has had several coaching stops in her career between the W and NBA.

She got her start as an assistant for the Washington Mystics in 1999 before moving on to the Miami Sol from 2000-02. Boucek then jumped on with the Seattle Storm as an assistant from 2003-05 and again from 2010-14.

She took her first WNBA head coaching job with the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09. In 2015, she was promoted to head coach of the Storm, a position she held until 2017, when she switched to the NBA.

Former Kings head coach Dave Joerger gave Boucek her first shot as an assistant in the NBA on his staff, and she has remained in the league since then.

She spent one season with the Kings before joining Carlisle’s staff as an assistant when he was still head coach of the Mavericks. When Carlisle moved from Dallas to Indiana, Boucek went with him. She has been a Pacers assistant since the 2020-21 season.

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