Player

Penny Taylor

Retired DOB: 24 May 1981 Height: 185 cm Position: Guard/Forward Number: 13

Hometown: Mount Waverley, VIC

Junior Association: Belgrave (VIC)

Current Club: Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)

International Debut: 1997

Biography

Taylor was a key member of the famous AIS WNBL Championship-winning team of 1999 and quickly forged a reputation as one of the best players to come from Australian shores.

A move to the Dandenong Rangers after the AIS saw Taylor emerge as a rival to Lauren Jackson’s crown as the best in the WNBL, winning consecutive WNBL MVP awards in 2001 and 2002 before the lure of the WNBA and Europe became too strong.

Taken at pick 11 by the Cleveland Rockers in the 2001 WNBA Draft, Taylor enjoyed a strong debut season, leading to her first taste of major international competition – winning a bronze medal as part of the Australian Opals 2002 FIBA World Championship squad.

The Melbourne native was fast becoming one of the premier players in the world, with her performances at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games helping the Opals take home silver. A move to the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA further accelerated Taylor’s ascent, culminating at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Taylor was the star and was duly named World Championship MVP as the Opals claimed the gold medal. This was the start of a trophy-laded period for Taylor, who won two WNBA titles alongside a second Olympic silver medal to go with an Italian and Russian league championship.

The dream of a third Olympic Games in London was cruelly cut short by a serious knee injury, with the Opals star making her return to the court during the 2013 WNBA season.

She continued to apply her trade in the WNBA and made a triumphant return to the national team in 2016 when she was named as part of the Opals for Rio.

Named as captain for the 2016 Olympic Games, Taylor led her team to the quarter finals finishing the tournament averaging 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Announcing her retirement from the game following the Olympic games, Taylor finishes her extraordinary career as one of Australia's best players, who represented both the country, and the game of basketball, with passion and tenacity.

Previous Clubs:

1997-1999 – AIS (WNBL)
1999-2002 – Dandenong Rangers (WNBL)
2001-2003 – Cleveland Rockers (WNBA)
2002-2003 – La Spezia (Italy)
2004-Current – Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
2004-2007 – Famila Schino (Italy)
2007-2009 – UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)
2009-2013 – Fenerbachce (Turkey)
2013- 2016 - Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
2014-2016 - Dandenong Rangers (WNBL)

Major Awards:

Olympic Games: 2004 (Silver), 2008 (Silver)
FIBA World Championship: 2002 (Bronze), 2006 (Gold), 2010, 2014 (Bronze)
FIBA World Championship MVP: 2006
WNBL Champion: 1999
WNBL MVP: 2001, 2002
WNBL All-Star Five: 2001, 2002
WNBA Champion: 2007, 2009
WNBA All-Star: 2002, 2007, 2011
All-WNBA First Team: 2007
Euroleague World All-Star Team: 2006, 2007, 2010
Italian A1 Champion: 2006
Russian Superleague Champion: 2009
Turkish League Champion: 2010, 2012

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