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Warriors analyst Azzi explains importance of chasing your passion

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Jennifer Azzi is no stranger to excellence. In fact, she has attained it her whole life on the basketball court and beyond.

Her decorated accomplishments in basketball have led to Azzi being one of the most established trailblazers in the sport's history. As someone who has directly influenced the history of the game, she's encouraged by women's basketball's increasing growth in popularity. She's also encouraged by the group driving the force behind it.

"One of the great things happening in our country is that the light bulb has finally gone on that women need to support women. And that is happening," Azzi said in a Women's Empowerment Month interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. 

"I think that's one of the most powerful things because historically, a lot of the fan base for women's sports has been men," she added. "Now, you're starting to see that change, and I think that makes a very big difference."

Because of her career, Azzi is one of the most respected names in the Bay Area as well as the sport. Azzi led the Stanford Cardinal to their first NCAA title in 1990 and won gold for the United States at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. She played professional basketball for 13 years, including a four-year stint in the WNBA, and was named to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. 

Azzi also served as head coach as the University of San Francisco's women's basketball from 2011 to 2016, currently working as the global director of the NBA academy and as a Warriors analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area. 

 

Of course, Azzi's work in the NBA academy also promotes that growth. She is working to grow the game nationally and internationally, as well as to provide opportunities in the sport for women around the world.

Azzi is also a mother to two with her partner, Blair Hardiek. She has a 3-year-old boy named Macklin and a daughter, Camden, who is set to turn one next month. 

Her advice to her children is one she gives to all women and girls. 

"For young women and young girls, it's most important to find what you really love to do, and go for it," Azzi said.

That has certainly worked well for Azzi, as she can add another accolade to her impressive list of accomplishments. Last week, the Pac-12 announced Azzi would be inducted to the conference's Hall of Honor this year. 

It's one more honor for Azzi as she continues to chase her own passion and hopes women of all ages will do the same. 

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